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Helen Hayes org expands mandate

TheaterWashington ups promo efforts in region

The 27 year-old org that sponsors D.C.’s annual Helen Hayes Awards and associated functions has unveiled a new moniker and an expanded mission. Now slugged “theaterWashington,” the org will take a bolder stance in its promotion of area theaters and performers beginning with a revamped website, said CEO Linda Levy Grossman.

Initially founded as the Washington Theater Awards Society with a primary focus on its single event each April, the nonprofit org has evolved alongside the expanding list of professional theaters in the D.C. region. Assorted marketing and education efforts, including audience development, are becoming an increasingly important part of its mandate, Grossman said.

As a result, theaterWashington has organized the Hayes activities as a separate unit and its increased staff focuses on bolstering the identity of D.C. theaters and other activities. Newcomers to the org include Manny Strauss, managing editor of the agency’s website; Alli Houseworth, director of communication and audience development; and Brad Watkins, director of theater services. Allison Dreskin has been promoted to operations manager.

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