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Gwen Watkins. (Photo by Stages Houston.)

Gwen Watkins Named Stages Managing Director

The native Houstonian joins newly appointed artistic director Derek Charles Livingston.

HOUSTON: Stages has named Gwen Watkins their new managing director. She succeeds interim managing director David Schmitz, who has served in the position since last September.

“With the exciting recent announcement of Derek Charles Livingston as our new artistic director and now with Gwen joining the team as managing director, we are thrilled to be going into the new season with new co-leaders who will build on Stages’s amazing legacy,” board president and chair emeritus George C. Lancaster said in a statement. “Gwen’s passion for the arts in Houston, coupled with her strategic mindset, will contribute significantly to our continued success.”

Watkins, a native Houstonian, comes to Stages from the Houston Symphony, where she served as the chief marketing and external relations officer for five years. She also previously served as the associate head of marketing and communications at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Watkins holds a BA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Rice University.

“My professional journey has provided me with a blend of experience within large, historical arts nonprofits along with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Watkins said in a statement. “One of my goals is to further empower the Stages’s team to embody the organization’s incredible culture, which will lead to collective success for the theatre.”

Stages makes plays and tells stories that invite everyone to live more deeply and love more boldly. As Houston’s sixth-largest nonprofit performing arts producer, Stages produces approximately 12 productions annually, drawing over 75,000 visitors per season. As of 2023, the theatre’s budget was approximately $6.5 million.

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