It was summer 2020. Covid-19 lingered on, with no end in sight. After months of canceled performances, funds were dwindling at Washington, DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company. Their last hope, the annual fundraising gala, was set for October. As the date drew near, it became clear that there would be no party. The staff had to come up with Plan B, and they had to do it fast. This is the story of a creative project team, dedicated to their mission. Their clear, agile response provides concrete and inspiring lessons in the power of Project Management.
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About the Speakers
Amy Hand is the General Manager at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Prior to joining STC she served as the Operations Manager at San Francisco Ballet, the Associate General Manager at American Conservatory Theatre, and the Production Stage Manager for Atlanta Ballet.
Mara Mignogna is the Development Events Manager at DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, and oversees the planning of all of the Theatre’s internal events including the 2021 Virtual Gala, Shakespeare Everywhere. Seeing the joy and lasting memories created fuels Mara’s spirit for designing and executing events.
LeeAnet Noble is a Howard University graduate, and certified in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion from Purdue University. As an actor, director, choreographer, musician, and writer, her career has spanned over twenty years, working with STOMP, The Irish Repertory Theatre, Disney’s The Lion King Experience, and more. She is passionate about creating change and celebrating inclusivity through the arts.
Alan Paul is a director of theater and opera, and the Associate Artistic Director of Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC. Alan is also the recipient of the 2014 Helen Hayes Award for Best Director of a Musical for his production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
Neal Racioppo, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, has been an arts marketer in Washington, DC since 2001, working with STC and Arena Stage. He oversees the strategies and processes for STC’s earned revenue and communications strategies.
Roger Whyte is the Founder & Principal of RJ Whyte Event Production, established in 2010. With a background in technical theater and production, Roger has been able to apply his skills to events in both the in-person and virtual spaces. He is an expert in designing events that are on budget, achieve fundraising goals, run smoothly, and have people talking for years to come.
Laura Willumsen is Senior Director of Development of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, responsible for all fundraising efforts. Prior positions include Institutional Major Gifts Officer at the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Director of Marketing for Pittsburgh Opera, and Manager of the Folger Consort. Willumsen holds a bachelors and masters degree in music performance.