Joy Zinoman, co-founder of D.C.’s Studio Theater and its artistic director for the past 35 years, will retire from the organization next September. Studio will conduct a nationwide search for a new a.d. during the interim.
Zinoman told a gathering of colleagues that she would continue as the conservatory’s director of curriculum and master teacher, training new instructors and leading classes.
Zinoman helped launch the second wave of D.C.’s nonprofit theater scene that followed Zelda and Tom Fichandler at Arena Stage. Begun with a $10,000 investment, Studio pioneered the rebirth of the Logan Circle neighborhood hard hit by economic blight.
Studio has earned a rep as a troupe that regularly features new works from hot playwrights. She has directed some 70 productions, this season adding Harold Pinter’s “Moonlight” and David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” to her list of helming credits.
Other achievements include helping to pioneer a for-profit scenario by building in extensions of popular productions mounted at the facility’s three identical 200-seat theaters. Contracts with actors typically factor in the possibility of extended runs, a system that has contributed substantially to Studio’s healthy financial performance, including a $500,000 surplus last fiscal year.