Broadway’s Second Stage Theater Names Arena Stage’s Khady Kamara Exec Director

Broadway’s Second Stage Theater has hired Khady Kamara, the managing director of Arena Stage in Washington D.C., as the New York company’s new executive director.

Kamara will join Second Stage, which also includes Off Broadway productions, part-time beginning Sept. 14, then full time on Jan. 4, 2021.

As Arena’s managing director, Kamara is responsible for all of Arena’s combined $19 million earned and contributed income streams, as well as overseeing building operations for the 200,000 square foot Mead Center campus, general management and production. A core focus of her career, according to Second Stage, is strengthening community relations and developing new audiences with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

At Arena, Kamara doubled the subscription base and built strong patron engagement, Second Stage says. She contributed to the world premieres of Dear Evan Hansen and The Originalist, both of which transferred to New York, with Hansen produced Off Broadway by Second Stage.

In a statement, Kamara said, “During these unprecedented times, we have a unique opportunity to rebuild and reimagine our next chapter while ensuring that Second Stage remains an integral part of the New York theater community at large. I’ve advocated for a focused lens on diversity, inclusion and social justice awareness throughout my 22-year career, and I look forward to being an authentic voice as part of a cultural institution that is actively working to uphold these values.”

Terry Lindsay, Second Stage Co-Chairman of the Board, said, “After a rigorous national search which began in February, I am thrilled to have Khady as our unanimous choice as Executive Director. We were impressed with her innovative and collaborative approach, impactful community engagement, and her leadership in EDI initiatives. Partnering with the Board as we embark on expanded strategic planning, Khady is the right person for Second Stage at this critical time for theater.”

Kamara also serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Arts Management Program at George Mason University, EDI Co-Chair of the League of Resident Theaters and a member of the Board of Directors of Theatre Washington.

Carole Rothman, Second Stage’s President and Artistic Director, said today, “Khady’s strong leadership abilities and her passionate commitment to the work of living American writers make her the ideal new Executive Director for Second Stage. It’s a challenging time for theater and I am impressed with Khady’s fierce determination to move the institution forward as we start producing again. She will be a powerful new voice in our Broadway and theatrical community and for the many artists who are part of the Second Stage family.”

For the upcoming 2020-2021 season, Second Stage plans a Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out starring Patrick J. Adams, Julian Chi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, Michael Oberholtzer, Eduardo Ramos, Tyler Lansing Weaks and Jesse Williams. Directed by Scott Ellis, the play is set to begin performances in March 2021 with an opening night set for April 22, 2021 at Broadway’s Hayes Theater.

The Second Stage season will also feature the New York premiere of a new, as-yet-untitled play by Lynn Nottage, directed by Nottage’s frequent collaborator Kate Whoriskey. Performances will begin on Broadway in the fall of 2021. Fall of 2021 will also see the return of playwright Rajiv Joseph, whose plays Animals Out of Paper and Gruesome Playground Injuries both received productions at Second Stage Theater. Directed by May Adrales, Letters of Suresh will have its world premiere at Second Stage’s Off Broadway Kiser Theater.



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