theatreWashington Announces New Additions to its Board of Directors

Alli Houseworth



27 Year-Old Organization’s Leadership Expands as Roll-Out of theatreWashington Continues

(Washington, DC) – theatreWashington is thrilled to welcome five new members from the Washington-area community to its Board of Directors—four of whom represent a diverse cross-section of Washington-area professional theatres. This leadership expansion is one of several steps in the 27 year-old organization’s move to theatreWashington. In addition to a change in governance, this transition offers a new staffing structure, a new name, new programming, and an interactive new website designed to streamline the theatre decision-making process.

The new additions to the theatreWashington Board of Directors join an existing team of 25 led by Chairman Victor Shargai, (President, Victor Shargai and Associates); Vice Chairman Betsy Karmin (Partner, DLA Piper); Secretary Robert Winter (Partner, Arnold and Porter); and Treasurer Kurt Crowl (Vice President, Connoisseur Travel. The Helen Hayes Awards will be overseen by a 20 member Board of Governors comprised of members of the professional theatre community and knowledgeable theatre supporters.

“It is extraordinarily gratifying to welcome these exceptional corporate and artistic leaders to the theatreWashington Board of Directors,” said theatreWashington President & CEO Linda Levy Grossman, “The involvement of all sectors is critical to the success of this endeavor. Our strong board will become even more so with the involvement of such exciting and diverse individuals.”

The new members of the theatreWashingotn Board of Directors include Michael J. Bobbitt (Producing Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre), Michael Dove (Artistic Director, Forum Theatre), Larry Hough (Managing Director of Stuart Mill Venture Partners, L.P. and President and CEO of Stuart Mill Capital, Inc.), Chris Jennings (Managing Director, Shakespeare Theatre Company), Kathy Lowe (American Airlines, District Sales Manager Washington DC Mid-Atlantic Region), and Dorothy McSweeny (chair of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation).
About the New Members of the Board of Directors

Michael J. Bobbitt (Producing Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre) has directed, choreographed and performed at many Washington area theatres, including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre Society, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Metro Stage, Rorshach Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Washington Savoyards, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, The Helen Hayes Awards, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, Mel Tillis 2001, and 1996 Olympics. He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theatre and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and NY University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Cap 21). Michael has taught theatre and dance at George Washington University, Catholic University, Montgomery College, Howard University, and the Washington Ballet. Michael was co-chair of Young Non-Profit Network DC- Executive Director Roundtable, a Commissioner for the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth, and the President of The League of Washington Theatres. In 2010, Michael received the County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities – Emerging Leader Award. In 2011, Michael was profiled in The Washington Post and listed as a “People to Watch” in Washingtonian magazine. Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Theatre for Young Audiences, The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. He lives in Glen Echo, Maryland with his partner and son.

Michael Dove (Artistic Director, Forum Theatre) has produced 23 productions in his time at Forum Theatre, garnering nine Helen Hayes Award nominations. For Forum, Michael has directed Scorched, Angels in America (Perestroika), Amazons and Their Men (co-directed with Elissa Goetschius), dark play or stories for boys, Marat/Sade, Antigone, Valparaiso, Rockaby and Rough for Radio (for the DC Beckett Centenary Festival), The Memorandum, Hamletmachine, and BECKETT: The Shorter Plays. His other credits include A View From the Bridge at Cape Fear Regional Theater; La Corbière at Solas Nua (co-directed with Linda Murray); Dated and The Relationship of Archibald and Amity for the Source Festival; Metamorphoses and The Water Engine at Montgomery College; Snow Angel for the Imagination Stage Conservatory; and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Anthem Connection. Michael is also a theatre educator, was a panelist at the University of Maryland on Samuel Beckett, and co-wrote an adaptation of The Fatal Marksman, which was produced at James Madison University. Michael is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Larry Hough (Managing Director of Stuart Mill Venture Partners, L.P. and President and CEO of Stuart Mill Capital, Inc.) was President and CEO of the Student Loan Marketing Association from 1990 to 1997. Subsequent to that time he was CEO of Synxis Corporation and SatoTravel; two undertakings developing out of Stuart Mill Capital, Inc.. Mr. Hough has been a trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre Company since 1985 and served as Chairman from 1991 to 1999. He was a trustee of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region from 1990-2003, serving as its Chairman from 2000-2003. Mr. Hough resides in Oakton, VA. In addition to his business and community interests, Mr. Hough raises llamas, competes in international Masters athletic competitions, and chases after his four grandchildren.

Chris Jennings (Managing Director, Shakespeare Theatre Company) joined the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) in 2004 as it broke ground on Sidney Harman Hall and was promoted to Managing Director in 2008. He has overseen the growth of STC from $12M to a $20M operation with 145 staff members. He currently serves as President of the International Theatre Institute in his ongoing effort to promote meaningful cultural exchanges. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), DC Downtown Bid, Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, DC Arts and Humanities Collaborative, and The ARC: Building Bridges Across the River. Prior to STC, he served as General Manager of Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island. In New York City, he managed the Off-Broadway company, Theatre for a New Audience. He received his BFA in Music and Theatre at the University of Miami and his MFA in Theatre Management from Yale University in the School of Drama.

Kathy Lowe (American Airlines, District Sales Manager Washington DC Mid-Atlantic Region) began her career at American Airlines almost 25 years ago, as a ticket agent in Milwaukee, WI. She moved into her first role with Passenger Sales as the Marketing Support Representative in Milwaukee Sales, and after a few years was promoted to Account Executive for SABRE in Harrisburg, PA. After her daughter was born, Kathy went part time for a short while working at the Harrisburg City Ticket Office. Kathy then returned to Passenger Sales in 1996 when she was promoted to AA Sales Representative for Baltimore, MD. In 2001 she was promoted to Account Sales Manager with responsibilities in PA, VA, MD, and DC, and was recently promoted within Passenger Sales to District Sales Manager, Washington DC Mid-Atlantic Region. Kathy has over 29 years in the travel industry. Prior to coming to American Airlines she worked in Washington, DC for CATO (Combined Airline Ticket Office) and then as Manager of Dayton’s Travel Service.

Dorothy Pierce McSweeny is the chair of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and chair emeritus of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, serving from 1996 to the present. In 2011 she received the Distinguished Washingtonian Award in Literature & the Arts from The University Club of Washington, DC and was elected to the DC Hall of Fame. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mayor’s Arts Award in 2007, the Laura E. Phillips Angel of the Arts Award in 2004, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the DC Youth Orchestra Program in 2003, the National Capitol Philanthropy Award for Outstanding Fundraiser Volunteer of 2002, and was selected as Washingtonian of the Year in 1995. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation, and on the boards of Americans for the Arts, the Children’s Complex, DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, Double Nickels Theatre Co., and is a founder of the Washington Episcopal School. As an oral historian, she served in the Johnson Administration and has been a resident of Washington, DC since 1967.

About Theatre IN Washington

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. The Washington region is home to nearly 80 professional theatres and thousands of theatre professionals that produce work of the finest quality and fuel the economy of the nation’s capital. With the second highest per-capita number of theatre productions annually—second only to New York City—Washington, DC is an unparalleled arts destination.

About theatreWashington

Building on 27 years of credibility and service as The Helen Hayes Awards, theatreWashington is the unified voice of Washington area theatre and is the only organization dedicated solely to promoting, representing, and supporting all segments of Washington’s professional theatre community—theatres, artists, company members, and audiences of all ages.

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