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David Lloyd Olson Announced as New Managing Director At Theater J


Olson comes to Theater J from Quintessence Theatre Group in Philadelphia, PA, where he has served as the Managing Director.

David Lloyd Olson Announced as New Managing Director At Theater J

Theater J has announced that David Lloyd Olson (he/him) will become its new Managing Director on August 16, 2021. Olson joins Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr (he/him) in the leadership of the theater, which is a program of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center (EDCJCC). Olson comes to Theater J from Quintessence Theatre Group in Philadelphia, PA, where he has served as the Managing Director.

"I have been following David Lloyd Olson's extraordinary career for nearly a decade," says Artistic Director Immerwahr. "In addition to his experience, intelligence, business savvy, kindness, and effervescence, Olson brings to Theater J an invaluable set of connections in both DC's Jewish and theater communities. I know that Olson will usher in the next era of Theater J's growth, and I look forward to learning and growing together in leadership of this vital and essential Jewish theater company."

David Lloyd Olson has spent over a decade managing nonprofit theaters, most recently serving as managing director of Quintessence Theatre Group in Philadelphia where he oversaw the organization's largest ever fundraising campaign and the doubling of their annual foundation support. Olson succeeds Jojo Ruf (she/her), who served as the Managing Director for two and a half years, and left Theater J in July to join Deloitte as a senior consultant.

"Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, realizing after a journey of searching that she had exactly what she needed right here at home, I feel the same way about the choice to bring David on board as our new Managing Director" says Dava Schub (she/her), Chief Executive Officer of the EDCJCC. "All roads kept leading us back to David. His expertise in theater management, deep connection with our mission, leadership in the spaces of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and knowledge of and relationship to the DC Theater landscape ready him to jump in and, together with the extraordinary Theater J team, lead us from strength to strength in the months and years ahead."

Prior to Quintessence, Olson was manager of the executive office and board engagement at the Shakespeare Theatre Company where he supported the transition of the theatre's artistic directorship from Michael Kahn to Simon Godwin. He was a founding company member of Pointless Theatre in Washington DC where he served for ten years as managing director, during which time the company was awarded the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at the Helen Hayes Awards. He was an Allen Lee Hughes management fellow at Arena Stage and served as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Valmiera, Latvia. He has twice been the recipient of a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowship program grant and was on the host committee of the 2016 Theatre Communications Group national conference. He attended the University of Maryland where he received a B.A. in theatre from the College of Arts and Humanities and a B.A. in government and politics from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

"I am honored to be joining Theater J's leadership as the company enters its fourth decade of creating community through theater-going experiences and contributing to the cultural vitality of the District of Columbia," says Olson. "As a gay Jewish man with Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Northern European ancestry, I am especially drawn to Theater J's commitment to Illuminating the complexity of Jewish identity and to examining inter-cultural experiences. I am grateful to the EDCJCC leadership and to the Theater J Council for entrusting me with this important position as co-executive of the nation's premier Jewish theater."

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