Just announced – There comes a moment, amidst the excitement of revealing the recipients of the year’s Helen Hayes awards when a Washington Post executive steps into the spotlight to honor one organization whose significant achievements help further the quality of life for the communities they serve.
At this year’s Helen Hayes Awards ceremony on April 21st, the Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Washington Theatre Community will be presented to Adele Robey and her daughter Julia Robey Christian, co-founders of Anacostia Playhouse who opened their new theatre in Anacostia in July, 2012.
Already a venue for companies such as Theater Alliance, Pinky Swear Productions, and local producers, the Playhouse is currently getting ready to welcome visual theatre performances and workshops by the high energy QuestFest (March 26 – April 5).
Details from the Washington Post press release –
Founded in 2002 by Adele Robey and her late husband Bruce, the H Street Playhouse in Northeast Washington, D.C. helped the Robeys become key players in the Washington theatre community. As home to Theater Alliance and other emerging companies, the early success of the venue helped activate the revitalization of the H Street neighborhood. When rising rents made it prohibitive to continue in that neighborhood, an indication of the theatre’s success, Adele Robey and her daughter Julia quickly established the Anacostia Playhouse as a new venue for their work.
Theater Alliance, which made the move to Anacostia with the Robeys, has already enjoyed significant success in the new space. As on H Street, however, the resident company is just one piece of the overall mission. The Robeys are intent on establishing the Anacostia Playhouse as an integral part of the neighborhood with local bands, solo performers, storytellers, children’s programming, and artists of all genres using the space, and creating a dynamic focus for the community at large.
Adele Robey, Chief Executive Officer of the Anacostia Playhouse, commented, “It would be impossible to overstate how thrilled and honored we are to be recognized by theatreWashington and The Washington Post for our labor of love that has become the Anacostia Playhouse. This recognition truly serves as validation for all of the hard work, all of the frustration, and all of the days we looked at each other and said, ‘what were we thinking?’ And while we might the two being recognized, there are literally hundreds of people without whom this would never have been possible. The Playhouse is the product of a truly communal effort, which is, after all, what theater is all about.”
“The Robeys have helped transformed the H Street neighborhood, using quality, cutting edge theatre performance as an anchor for change,” said Steve Hills, President and General Manager of The Washington Post. “Continuing their recipe for success with the Anacostia Playhouse, they are bringing new interest to a historic community. We look forward to the Robeys’ continuing success as they help shape the future of their neighborhood and extend the reach of the Washington theatre community.”
theatreWashington President & CEO Linda Levy added, “We’ve seen time and time again what theatres can do to anchor and revitalize neighborhoods. What the Robeys did on H Street, and are now doing in Anacostia, exemplifies how theatre impacts not only the artistic landscape, but the actual composition of our community. And that’s something worth celebrating.”