Announcing the recipients of the first Victor Shargai Leadership Award

The Washington Theater Board of Directors and Advancement Committee, in partnership with Craig Pascal, retired community bank executive and husband of Victor Shargai, are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award: Edgar Dobiecollaborative leader and executive producer at arena sceneand Paige Hernandezrecognized multidisciplinary artist.

The Victor Shargai Leadership Award (VSLA) honors individuals, groups, or institutions whose outstanding service and creative leadership have strengthened the theater community in the Washington, DC area. The Washington Theater created the award in 2021 in collaboration with Craig Pascal to honor Pascal’s late husband and beloved DC-area theater champion, Victor Shargai. For decades, Victor has been a strong supporter of the Washington, D.C. area theater community, its artists and institutions – generously donating his time and resources to theaters of all sizes. Additionally, Victor was a long-time president and board member of Theater Washington and played a vital role in the annual Helen Hayes Price. In honor of Victor’s legacy and leadership, the VSLA recognizes individuals or groups who have demonstrated outstanding initiative, collaboration, advocacy, and personal generosity in support of the Washington, DC area theater community.

The winners were nominated by their peers through an open nomination process. Jane Lang, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Eugene Lang Foundation, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Abel Lopez, Associate Production Manager, GALA Hispanic Theater and Chairman of the Board of Theater Washington, and Craig Pascal, Retired Community Banking Director and husband of Victor Shargai, chosen the final recipients.

“Victor Shargai was an inspiring leader in our community in so many ways, and it is his relentless passion to connect, collaborate and celebrate Washington, DC area theater that defines his legacy. He has been our ultimate champion for decades and I am thrilled that we will now celebrate its impact each year by recognizing leaders who continue the work and spirit of community building,” said Amy Austin, President and CEO of Theater Washington. “Both Edgar and Paige are wonderful examples of how innovative and effective leadership can build community and bring to the fore the extraordinary work of the Washington, DC area theater community.”

“I am honored to partner with Theater Washington, an organization that Victor loved so much, to annually recognize outstanding theater leaders from the Washington, D.C. area. It is because of the visionary leadership found throughout this community that we will elevate our collective work and accomplishments, create collaborative and equitable workspaces, and be encouraged to bring our very best to this industry – all criteria for selecting these winners,” said Craig Pascal, husband of the late Victor Shargai.”Edgar Dobie not only effectively led arena scenehe opened it up to the greater community and to the city in an inspiring way, humbly leading by example. Paige Hernandez is a shining example of an artistic leader bringing out the best in artists to produce incredible theatre. I commend her for her commitment to collaboration at a critical time. I couldn’t be happier that they were selected as the first recipients of the Victor Shargai Leadership Award.”

2022 winners

Edgar Dobie is the executive producer of the Tony Award-winning nonprofit arena scene, which he has led for more than a decade. Edgar’s leadership extended Arena’s reach beyond its stages and into the community as a dedicated neighbor to DC’s vibrant Southwest community. He recently opened Arena as a vaccination and testing site during the Covid-19 pandemic. Edgar has also demonstrated collaborative leadership and consensus building as a theater champion throughout the Washington, DC region. Her effective advocacy, her personal generosity and her commitment to theater in the life of our community exemplify the spirit of this award.

Paige Hernandez is a critically acclaimed multidisciplinary artist who works throughout the Washington, DC area as a performer, director, choreographer, educator and playwright. She is Associate Artistic Director of the Everyman Theater in Baltimore, MD, and the originator of B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT. Paige is a visionary in the arts, bringing together artists of varying talents across generations and genres. She inspires creative collaboration and infuses DC-area theater with her energy and imagination. His artistic integrity – reflected in a commitment to safe, equitable and inclusive spaces for artists – is intrinsic to this award.

Detailed biographies of each laureate are available upon request. E-mail

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