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Hayley Finn. (Photo by Josh Olson)

Hayley Finn Named Theater J Artistic Director

The former Playwrights’ Center associate A.D. will join managing director David Lloyd Olson on the leadership team as of Feb 1.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Theater J, a program of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC), has announced that Hayley Finn will become its new artistic director on Feb. 1. Finn will lead the theatre alongside managing director David Lloyd Olson. Finn served for 16 years as associate artistic director at Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. She succeeds previous artistic director Adam Immerwahr, who left last summer.

“Hayley Finn joins Theater J at a moment of strength,” said Olson in a statement. “At a time when most theatres in the country have seen their subscription audience shrink, Theater J’s subscription audience is now larger than it’s been in the past seven years, and I believe that with Hayley as our artistic director, our programming will continue to grow a broad and diverse audience.”

Finn has over 25 years of experience in professional theatre across all aspects of the profession, including producing, directing, casting, education, and fundraising, and has worked to create national partnerships for theatres on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally. At the Playwrights’ Center, Finn produced over 1,000 workshops with leading playwrights. She also served as co-artistic director of Red Eye Theater since 2019 where she co-produced and curated the New Works 4 Weeks Festival and co-led the fundraising and development of a new 150-seat black box theatre in Minneapolis. Her recent directing credits include the world premiere of Christina Ham’s West of Central at Pillsbury House Theater, the regional premiere of her play Nina Simone: Four Women at People’s Light, and Significant Other by Joshua Harmon at Six Points Theatre (formerly Minnesota Jewish Theatre), where she has directed seven productions. Finn was assistant director on several Broadway productions, including the Tony Award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge.

“I am honored to become Theater J’s next artistic director and further its mission to tell stories illuminating the complexities and nuances of both the Jewish experience and the human condition through diverse perspectives and aesthetic visions,” said Finn in a statement. “I am committed to building upon the theatre’s rich legacy of producing vibrant theatrical works that pose relevant questions of our time toward inspiring greater empathy and understanding. During my career, I have worked closely with many incredible playwrights and am excited to continue to develop, produce and champion writers responding to our rapidly changing world.”

Finn is an Alumna of the Drama League Director’s Program, recipient of the Ruth Easton Fellowship, TCG Future Leader Grant, National Endowment for the Arts support, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Brown University. 

Theater J is the nation’s largest professional Jewish theatre, based in Washington, D.C. The theatre aims to preserve and expand a rich Jewish theatrical tradition and to create community and commonality through theatre-going experiences. Theater J’s work seeks to illuminate and examine ethical questions of our time, inter-cultural experiences that parallel our own, and the changing landscape of Jewish identities. As of 2020, the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center had an approximate budget of $10.8 million.

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