BETHESDA, MD.: Jason Najjoum has been named the new managing director of Imagination Stage. He will co-lead the theatre with founding artistic director Janet Stanford, who was named producing artistic director in fall 2020. Najjoum, who succeeds Meghann Babo-Shroyer in the role of managing director, will be responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, community relations, operations, and organizational development.
“Imagination Stage’s new leadership team will together position Imagination Stage to take advantage of new challenges and opportunities in Washington, D.C.,” founder Bonnie Fogel said in a statement. Board president Patrick O’Neil added, “Jason’s energy, entrepreneurial outlook, and strategic approach are the perfect formula for Imagination Stage at this inflection point in its 42 year history.”
Najjoum most recently served as the managing director of Synetic Theater in Virginia, where he helped create innovative new community programming during the pandemic. He was previously a producing director at New York Theatre Barn and has held roles at Baltimore Center Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre. Najjoum has also worked in the television industry, on Broadway, and in the hedge fund and global development sectors. He earned an MFA/MBA in Theater Management from Yale University.
“The main guiding force in my own development has been immersion in the arts and humanities—both in strengthening the ways I can uniquely serve society and showing me how I can grow,” Najjoum said in a statement. “As a leader who unlocks untapped potential in visionary organizations vital to their communities, I can think of no better organization to serve at this moment than Imagination Stage.”
Imagination Stage has also announced that Triza Cox will be the new associate artistic director of Theatre for Change, the theatre’s social justice initiative. Cox, who is the South Carolina ambassador for the Dramatists Guild, has worked extensively in artist development, directing, and writing, as well as public health. She is a trained prevention specialist and holds an MFA from the University of Louisville.
“For over a decade I’ve worked as a theatre artist, often in marginalized communities, with the goal of democratizing arts access,” Cox said in a statement. “I did this work independently, but it is truly a gift and an honor to be with a company that has the same dedication to making the world a better place.”
Imagination Stage has grown from an after-school program to one of the largest youth-oriented theatres on the East Coast, reaching 75,000 families each year in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County.
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