About Theater J
THEATER J LEADERSHIP
Ari Roth (Playwright, Artistic Director)
Ari Roth is enjoying his 17th season as Artistic Director at Theater J where, together with a dedicated staff, he has produced 116 full productions, including 40 English language world premieres, and many more workshop presentations. Also a playwright, Ari has seen his work produced across the country, as well as at Theater J, where world premiere productions include Andy and the Shadows, Goodnight Irene, Life In Refusal, Love & Yearning in the Not-for-Profits, Oh, The Innocents, Still Waiting (a companion to Waiting For Lefty) as well as a repertory production of Born Guilty, originally commissioned and produced by Arena Stage, based on the book by Peter Sichrovsky, together with its sequel, The Wolf in Peter (now fused together as The Born Guilty Cycle, recently presented in Berlin). Recent locally presented one-act plays include Staff Meeting I & II for The Theatre Lab and The Great White Undulating Orb in The Bed Between Us for Source Theatre Festival.
His plays have been nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Resident Production, and two Charles A. MacArthur Awards. He is a 1998 and 2003 recipient of an NEA playwriting grant, three-time winner of the Helen Eisner Award, two-time winner of the Avery Hopwood Award, four-time recipient of commissions from the Foundation for Jewish Culture and recipient of the Mertyl Wreath Award from Hadassah. In 2011 he was asked by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to head the North American delegation to the IsraDrama Conference, and he has presented as a Master Teacher at the Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre as part of his many travels to Israel as a playwright and producer. He has taught for the University of Michigan for 17 years, currently for their “Michigan in Washington” program, as well as for Brandeis, NYU and Carnegie Mellon Universities.
Rebecca Ende (Managing Director)
Before stepping into the role of Managing Director, Rebecca worked in arts marketing as Director of Marketing and Communications for Sitar Arts Center, Director of Marketing and Communications for three seasons at Theater J and Marketing Associate at Ford’s Theatre. She is also the President of the Board of Forum Theatre and served as a Helen Hayes Judge for four years. She holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University and a Certificate in Budgeting and Finance from Georgetown University. Rebecca is a member of the 2012-13 Future Executive Director’s fellowship class of the Nonfprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington.
Delia Taylor (Associate Producer)
Delia has worked at Washington area theaters as an actor, director, stage manager, technician and production manager for over two decades. She directed the world premieres of There Are No Strangers and Sleeping Arrangements at Theater J. She has served as a regular guest artist at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Indiana and teaches and directs for The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts. She was honored with Theatre Lobby’s Mary Goldwater Award (for her performance in WSC’s Metamorphosis) and an Offstage Award from the League of Washington Theatres for her work at Theater J.
Shirley Serotsky (Associate Artistic Director)
Shirley Serotsky is the Associate Artistic Director at Theater J, where she directed the 2013 World Premiere production of The Hampton Years. For Theater J she has also directed The History of Invulnerability; The Moscows of Nantucket; Mikveh (which received two Helen Hayes Nominations for Best Actress); and The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (which received a 2009 Helen Hayes Nomination for Best New Play). She works as a freelance director in the DC area and beyond, and is passionate about the development of new work. Recent directing credits include: a 21/24 Signature Lab Workshop presentation of The Break (Signature Theatre); Working: The Musical (Keegan Theatre); Blood Wedding (Constellation Theatre); Birds of a Feather (which won the 2012 Charles MacArthur Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for The Hub Theatre); Juno and the Paycock (Washington Shakespeare Company); a staged reading of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo for the National New Play Network at Arena Stage; This is Not a Timebomb (The Source Festival); Reals, Five Flights and Two Rooms (Theater Alliance); Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake) and We Are Not These Hands (Catalyst Theater); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (Rorschach Theater, for which she received a 2007 Helen Hayes nomination for outstanding direction); Sovereignty (The Humana Festival of New Plays); Cautionary Tales for Adults and the Many Adventures of Trixie Tickles (2007 CapFringe); LUNCH (2007 New York Musical Theater Festival & 2006 CapFringe), Titus! The Musical. (2009 Capfringe and Source Theatre). Training: BFA, North Carolina School of the Arts. Shirley was a member of the 2002 Designer/Director Workshop with Ming Cho Lee; the 2003 Lincoln Center Director's Lab; and was a 2001/2001William R. Kenan, Jr. Fellows at the Kennedy Center.
Thomas Howley (Technical Director)
Tom holds a BFA from Central Michigan University and a MFA from The Catholic University of America. While pursuing two degrees in acting, Tom did extensive tech work on the side as an electrician and stage carpenter, which has served him well over the intervening years. After spending fifteen years working happily in the dinner theater community, Tom is now in his sixth season at Theater J where he has had the opportunity to implement the artistic vision of such noted designers as Tony Cisek, James Kronzer, Louis Fulden, Daniel Ettinger, and Dan Conway. The addition of a fine scene shop space in Beltsville last season has had a marked- though subtle- effect in what can be achieved onstage, and has improved the eternal time/budget challenges.
Alice Magelssen (Development Associate)
(202) 777- 3225
Alice Magelssen is pleased to join the administrative team at Theater J. Previously, she worked as a Development Assistant at Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) and as the administrative intern at A Red Orchid Theater in Chicago. She is also a stage manager. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago.
Amy Friedman (Director of Marketing and Communications)
Amy is thrilled to be a part of the Theater J team. She previously worked in the public relations agency world for several years, specializing in digital and social media, written communications, and media engagement. Her diverse background also includes internships at a community theater, non-profit organizations, a social media trade organization, a renowned political polling company and on the Hill. Amy grew up in Boca Raton, Fla. and is a part of a very theatrical family – her parents own and operate Locomotion Theatre, which presents interactive, educational shows for children and adults. Amy is proud to have come full circle back to working in theater, which is her passion. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.
Naomi Robin (Casting Director)
Naomi performed for many years as a stage actress in New York and across North America. Some years ago, she moved into voice-over work exclusively, with such clients as PBS, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, AFL-CIO and the National Park Service. Since then, her voice has been heard on thousands of TV and radio spots, including a host of political ads. More recently, she has also returned to her theatrical roots through work with Theater J, the Sprenger-Lang national playwriting competition, the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Helen Hayes Awards.
Erin Shannahan (Director of Patron Services)
Erin comes to Theater J from Ford’s Theatre, where she served in a double capacity as a Visitor Services Associate and as Administration and Operations Intern. While at Ford’s, in addition to providing historical interpretation, addressing customer concerns, and cooperating with the National Park Service to operate the popular tourist site, she also assisted with audience outreach programs including gallery guides for students of all ages, and helped create and launch a new audio-guide program in the site’s museum. Other past credits include Dramaturg at the American Century Theater for their productions of Stalag 17 and Treadwell: Bright and Dark; Marketing Intern for Theater of the First Amendment; and Camp Counselor and Assistant Director at the American Shakespeare Center’s residential theater camp for teens. She holds a Master of Arts in Arts Management from George Mason University, and her Bachelor of Arts in English with a Theatre minor from the College of William and Mary, for which degree she created and executed an independent study course on the works of playwright Tom Stoppard.
Molly Winston (Director of Community Outreach and New Media)
Molly is excited to join the Theater J team. Molly grew up in Baltimore, MD and recently returned to the area from Vancouver, Canada where she previously worked for the Chutzpah! Festival of International Jewish Performing Arts/Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre and for the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia, as their Education Coordinator and then their Interim Director. She received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Molly is an accomplished painter and printmaker, previously holding adjunct faculty positions at the Malaspina Printmakers Society and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.