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Maria Manuela Goyanes Is Woolly Mammoth’s Next Artistic Director

Goyanes will take the reins from Howard Shalwitz in September.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has named Maria Manuela Goyanes as its next artistic director. She will succeed Howard Shalwitz, who co-founded and led the theatre for 38 years, in September.

Maria Manuela Goyanes.

“Maria has a compelling vision for the art Woolly can make, the impact we can have with that art, and the ways in which everything we do can galvanize communities,” said board president Linette S. Hwu in a statement. “She embodies the curiosity, creativity, and collaboration that have lived at the core of Woolly’s ethos for nearly 40 years, and she lights up the room with her passion for theatre, both in its current form and as she sees it evolving. We’re really looking forward to working with her.”

Goyanes currently serves as the director of producing and artistic planning at the Public Theater in New York City. At the Public she oversees the day-to-day execution of the plays and musicals at the theatre’s five performance spaces, including the Delacorte Theater for the company’s Shakespeare in the Park programming. She also leads the season planning process as well as the theatre’s artistic programs, including Public Works, the Under the Radar Festival, and the offerings at Joe’s Pub. She is a faculty member at the Juilliard School, where she co-teaches a course on producing. She also creates the curriculum for Playwrights Downtown, the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at New York University. She serves as a board member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

She served as executive producer of the 13P playwrights collective and as the co-chair of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She was also the associate producer of Trinity Repertory Company. The League of Professional Theatre Women honred her with the Josephine Abady Award. She earned a B.A. at Brown University, where she was awarded the Susan Steinfeld Award.

“In the two decades I have worked with Maria, I have watched her develop into an extraordinary leader, artist, producer, and human being,” said Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis in a statement. “She is simply among the very best in the American theatre. Joined to a theatre as vital and principled as Woolly Mammoth, she will make magic.”

Goyanes is currently working with Shalwitz and managing director Meghan Pressman to plan the leadership transition at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

“To lead Woolly Mammoth—one of the most radical, inclusive, and vanguard theatres in the country—is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Goyanes in a statement. “Howard Shalwitz is a true visionary, and I am honored to build upon his founding legacy of artistic rigor, thoughtful experimentation, and field-wide innovation. I am personally inspired by how Woolly’s values show up both onstage and off, and I look forward to continuing the work of dismantling the barriers between Woolly and the kind of impact it wants to make with its art.”

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