Theater Alliance has appointed Jennifer Clements as the company’s Managing Director. She joins Raymond O. Caldwell, who became the company’s Producing Artistic Director in January, 2019.
Clements, an essayist, poet and playwright and a former theater critic for DC Theatre Scene, most recently served as Associate Creative Director at Impact Communications, where she crafted strategies for the World Wildlife Fund, American Public Media, and The Actors Fund. She has served on the Board of Directors of DC Theatre Scene, Lean and Hungry Theater and The Inner Loop: A Reading Series, worked in the administrative offices of theatreWashington and Studio Theatre and as Director of Development for Theater Alliance.
“At the point that Raymond approached me about stepping into the Managing Director position, I had already realized that, through no intentional strategy of my own, the professional experiences I’d amassed were all leading in a managing director direction — communications, fundraising, strategic planning, that sort of thing.”, Clements told us in an email conversation.
Did seeing shows as a critic plant the seed for someday wanting to help lead one?
As a critic and then as a Helen Hayes judge, I was fortunate to experience the breadth of what DC theatre has to offer. At the same time, my non-theatre job allowed me to work with some of the most recognizable and world-changing nonprofit organizations and understand how the communicate with the public, how they fund raise, how they develop their plans and priorities for the years ahead and enact them. Having both of these big-picture views take shape in tandem feels serendipitous in that it’s given me an incredible range of models to learn from, and to draw from in my new position at Theater Alliance.
What about Theater Alliance made you want to step into this leadership role?
Theater Alliance is on the precipice of something big. I would say that even if I weren’t on staff — there’s a certain momentum and magic around the company right now. I am especially excited to help Raymond continue to build our community partnerships and education program, and to continue honing and codifying the processes we use in working with local playwrights through the Hothouse New Play Development Series.
We are really looking to put our name into action — forging alliances with other groups in our community, alliances with artists, with schools and students. And, of course, with audiences and supporters.
We’re taking the extraordinary foundations that Colin Hovde, and before him Jeremy Skidmore, developed and continuing to build on them. Over the years ahead, I hope to help Theater Alliance become synonymous, in DC and across the country, with theater that empowers and inspires. With bold explorations of diverse perspectives. With work that affects positive change in our local community and the world at large.
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