Atlas Theatre Visionaries to Receive The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community

Darlene Taylor


Washington, DC – theatreWashington announced Washington arts advocates, Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger, will receive The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community at the 28th Helen Hayes Awards on Monday, April 23.

As leaders of the Sprenger Lang Foundation, the two spearheaded a $20 million capital campaign to develop the Atlas Theatre in H Street Northeast, Washington, DC. In 2005, the Atlas reopened as a multiuse community arts facility and performance space.

“Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger worked tirelessly in establishing a foundation for the Atlas theatre and engineering the revitalization of H Street,” said Victor Shargai, Chairman of the Board of theatreWashington. “Thanks to their efforts art is alive and well and the community is flourishing.”

The Washington Post Award is a hallmark of the annual Helen Hayes Awards ceremonies. Announcing this year’s awardees, Steve Hills, President of The Washington Post said, “the Atlas Performing Arts Center stands as an example of Jane and Paul’s commitment to make performing arts and arts education accessible to professional and emerging artists and affordable to all audiences.”

“For the past 26 years, The Washington Post has been a partner with the Helen Hayes Awards, and now theatreWashington, to recognize individuals who provide support and leadership that integrates theatre and community development,” said Linda Levy, theatreWashington President and CEO. “We applaud Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger and The Washington Post for recognizing the importance of theatre.”

Previous recipients of The Washington Post Award include the Ford’s Theatre Society, arts activist Andy Shallal, Helen Hayes Awards Founder Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, the alliance of Arena Stage, Crystal City BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Marriott and Arlington County Economic Development.

In addition to The Washington Post Award, the 28th Helen Hayes Awards program will celebrate 153 nominated artists and productions, actor and arts advocate, Kevin Spacey, recipient of the Helen Hayes Tribute Sponsored by Jaylee Mead, and Faction of Fools Theatre Company for the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.

With nearly 80 professional theatre companies, Greater Washington is second only to New York for the number of productions produced each year. During the 2011 season, 53 theatres produced 192 productions that met eligibility requirements in the January 1 – December 31 judging cycle.

About theatreWashington
From the District to Shirlington, from Bethesda to Tyson’s Corner, from the route 29 to the route 50 corridors, the Washington metropolitan area has always been one of the most prosperous, vital, and exciting communities in the country in which to live and work. And, sitting at the very center of this dynamic theatre community is theatreWashington.

Building on nearly three decades of service as The Helen Hayes Awards, theatreWashington is the unified voice of Washington area theatre. The Helen Hayes Awards is a signature program of theatreWashington.