Neil “Sandy” Havens graduated from Rice Institute in 1956. He earned his Master’s Degree in Theatre from Indiana University. After a short time in the Army and working for the family business selling oil field equipment, he and his wife Helen moved to New York. In addition to other jobs Havens worked on two Broadway productions as a production assistant and stage manager for famed director Joshua Logan. In 1963 Havens was hired as the new director for the Rice Players. When the Fine Arts department was formed in 1965, Havens transferred from the English Department as theatre fit better with the arts.
To start his career as director of the Rice Players in 1963, Havens staged Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. He put it on again in 1973 to commemorate 10 years on the job. And in 1999, the year he retired, he chose A Man for All Seasons as his final show.
Neil “Sandy” Havens was involved with the Rice Players as an undergraduate student at Rice in 1952-’56.