Nominations for the inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award are now open

Theater Washington has announced that nominations are open for a new award honoring beloved DC-area theater champion Victor Shargai. For over 50 years, Shargai has been a strong supporter of the Washington, DC area theater community and its artists. Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Theater Washington, Shargai played a key role in the production of the annual Helen Hayes Price.

The Victor Shargai Leadership Award was established by Craig Pascal to honor her late husband and will celebrate leaders – artists, staff, trustees, philanthropists and others – who have found creative and meaningful ways to serve, grow and strengthen the region’s theater of Washington, DC. community. There will be an event to celebrate the recipient and laureates in October 2022.

“Over the past two years, our theater industry has suffered immeasurable losses. We have lost friends and colleagues, productions, revenue and artwork that we will never see. Even in the last few months , with openings and closings, changing protocols and government guidelines, our theaters in the Washington, D.C. area have adapted and innovated,” said Amy Austin, president and CEO of the Washington Theater. “None of this is possible without leadership. And it’s time to shine the spotlight on the incredible members of our community who think outside the box and move our industry forward in ways we wouldn’t have.” ever thought possible. This is what Victor Shargai’s leadership award will do and I am grateful to Craig and Victor’s incredible network of friends and theater advocates who have built this lasting tribute to our dear champ, Victor.”

Jane Lang, President of the Eugene Lang Foundation and Founder and President Emeritus of the Atlas Performing Arts Center, longtime friend of Shargai and member of the Theater Washington Advancement Committee, said, “We are fortunate to have dedicated artists, audiences and donors who have enabled our theaters to survive the pandemic and thrive again. We have learned to better appreciate what we have missed so much and now celebrate the return of live theater to enrich our community. The vitality of regional theater depends on our commitment, inspired by creativity and passionate leadership.”

The award will recognize outstanding and creative leadership and will be awarded to an individual, group, or institution that has strengthened the Washington, D.C. area theater community through initiative, collaboration, advocacy, and/or personal generosity – at a specific time, or over a long period of time. Their impact can be at the organizational, industry or regional level. Nominees for the Victor Shargai Leadership Award may be nominated by individuals or organizations active in the DC regional theater community. Individuals or organizations can also nominate themselves. A person or an organization cannot propose more than one candidate during the same year. An application form is available on the Washington Theater website and must be completed by Thursday, March 31, 2022.

The recipient and all other notable nominees will be selected by a committee that will include Pascal, Lang, and Abel Lopez (Washington Theater Board Chairman). The Chairman of the Theater Washington Board of Trustees will consult with members of the Theater Washington Advancement Committee. Members of the Advancement Committee are leaders from multiple industries (housing, hospitality, LGBTQ, tourism, retail, finance, etc.) who share a passion for theater and a desire to champion theatre.

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