Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, has begun a year long Artist-in-Residency program with the Connecticut-based design firm Theatre Projects. But fear not, Shalwitz will be commuting from DC for the residency. His major work will continue to be here with the company he helped found in 1980.
Theatre Projects has designed theatres around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States. You have probably been in at least two Theatre Project designed spaces: The Head Theatre for Center Stage in Baltimore, and the 32,000 square foot Woolly Mammoth Theatre with its flexible courtyard theatre.
That project began in 2000 with Howard Shalwitz and the Woolly Mammoth team. “Because of Theatre Projects’ planning,” Shalwitz said, “we’ve been able to use our theatre in every way we originally imagined, but also in ways we didn’t know we would ever need. The new facility has expanded Woolly’s ambition and impact, and allowed our artistry to grow in boundless new directions.
“Now, 10 years later, I’m honored to join Theatre Projects as their first Artist-in-Residence. I hope that my experience as a former client and an artistic leader can add value to the great work they are doing in creating distinctive performance venues across the US and around the world.”
Today’s press release reported that on Monday, September 28, Shalwitz began his tenure with Theatre Projects and engaged in an enlightening back and forth conversation with their team about the current state of theatre, covering everything from changing audience demographics, to new strategies for community engagement, to the shifting direction of scenic design, and the foresight needed to plan effective theatres.
As the program continues, it will invite other artistic, production, and operational professionals for year-long positions working in tandem with Theatre Projects’ team, providing insight and inspiration. “With first-hand access to some of the leading creative forces in the industry, we’re doing something that no one else is doing,” Morrison said. “We don’t claim to know every answer to every question, but we certainly have expert resources at our fingertips to find the right solutions for our clients and their theatres.”
By engaging artists like Shalwitz, Theatre Projects aims to keep an eye toward the future—to better anticipate and understand clients’ needs, and ultimately, to continue to create the most dynamic and efficient performance spaces in the world.