For more than 30 years, DC actor and director Rick Hammerly has been adding to the history of Washington area theatre as actor, director and Artistic Director of Factory 449. He has added a new role, it was announced today; Hammerly is now the Executive Director of the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA), presiding over its invaluable archive of recorded performances which the organization has been recording since 1993.
“We feel extremely fortunate and are very excited that Rick has accepted the Executive Director position with WAPAVA,” said WAPAVA President Jackson R. Bryer in today’s announcement. “With Rick’s experience as both a Helen Hayes Award-winning actor and a Helen Hayes Award-winning director, his contacts in the theatre community, and the respect he commands from three decades of work in our community, he is ideally suited, not only in continuing WAPAVA’s mission of archiving DC-area theatre, but in leading the organization in exciting and innovative new ways to expand WAPAVA’s reach and public image.”
“The DC area has become the fastest growing theatre region in the country,” said Hammerly. “Our community’s continued desire to entertain and effect change through the art and power of theatre has increased our national theatrical presence, dare I say, dramatically. To join WAPAVA, an organization tasked with documenting that theatrical journey, is both an honor and a privilege. I look forward to working with Jackson and WAPAVA’s Board of Directors in the continued endeavor to increase and diversify the Archive, while advocating and amplifying WAPAVA’s crucial mission of preserving DC area theatre in the James J. Taylor Collection.”
Hammerly has worked as an award-winning, DC-based actor/director, producer, filmmaker, and arts manager for three decades. He received a 2018 Helen Hayes Award for his direction of Factory 449’s Lela & Co. and received a 2020 Helen Hayes Award nomination for his direction of Agnes of God, also for Factory 449.
Hammerly is a founder and current Producing Artistic Director of Factory 449, a Helen Hayes Award-winning DC theatre company in residence at Anacostia Arts Center. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), and currently serves on theatreWashington’s Advisory Committee.
Once these libraries are open to the public, the video recordings in the Archive, the James J. Taylor Collection, will be available for viewing at the University of Maryland’s Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC.
“Those of us that were a part of the theatre scene since the 70’s are fiercely proud of this body of work we have made together, and precisely because it is ephemeral in nature, we are so very glad to have the work preserved by WAPAVA.” Nancy Robinette, Actor (from the WAPAVA website)