The B-Side is authored by a range of Arena staff and artists, showcasing the diversity that has been an Arena hallmark since its founding in 1950. We occasionally publish guest posts, and welcome inquiries from theater professionals who’d like to write for us. Find out more about the writers behind the B-Side.

Juliana Avery

Juliana Avery

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Manager, Digital and Social Media)

Juliana is a life-long arts and culture vulture from the D.C. area. Working at Arena has been a homecoming of sorts for her. She began her theatrical career as a high school playwright in the Arena Stage Young Playwrights competition in 2002. In the ensuing decades, she has graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, married an actor she met while assistant directing at the Capital Fringe Festival, and worked at Forum Theatre and Ford’s Theatre before coming back to Arena. She loves expanding the world of the theater by sharing it with others across digital and social media.

Reyna Berry

Reyna Berry

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Voices of Now Mentor Artist (2019-2023)

An actor, writer, and playwright, Reyna Berry has loved storytelling from a very young age. She is currently a high school senior in Virginia planning to study theater and literature in college. Her play The Lioness Builds a Sand Castle was recognized at the 2023 Scholastic Writing awards, and she has work published in Reveille literary magazine, The Closed Eye Open, and ARTEMISpoetry. Arena Stage has been Reyna’s second home for the last five years, from her first Voices of Now (VON) play in 8th grade to her current work in the Mentor ensemble. VON cultivated in her a love for questioning the world. Creative movement, devised theatre, written work… whatever the medium, Reyna aims to explore expressions of empathy through art.

Jordan Brown

Jordan Brown*

Pronouns: he/him | Department: Marketing

Jordan hails from Fort Washington, MD, and is on the road to self-actualization. With a degree in Theatre & Media Performance from Stevenson University, Jordan took the initiative to learn social media and marketing of his own accord. He is looking to Arena Stage to teach him the nuances of marketing and communications, make connections, and to bolster his wits and skill. Jordan moonlights as a competitive gamer, an actor, and a style-icon.

Shonali Burke

Shonali Burke

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Chief Marketing Officer)

Serving as Editorial Director for The B-Side, Shonali hails from the “City of Joy,” aka Kolkata, India, and has lived in the U.S. since 2000 (the DMV has been “home” since 2003). A former actress with a penchant for numbers (her degrees are in Economics, Theater and Business Analytics), she loves telling stories that make people tick. Shonali is an avid home chef, voracious reader, diehard dancer (East Coast Swing), and unabashed Cracker Barrel devotee. She is owned by Pickles the Corgi who pays her rent in lickies and snuggles.

Abigail Cady

Abigail Cady

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Development (Foundation Relations Manager)

Abigail “Abby” Cady is the Foundation Relations Manager at Arena Stage and a new play and production dramaturg in the Baltimore/DC area. She leads the Horticulture Playwrights Workshop at Sisters Freehold in Baltimore and has served as production dramaturg at many Baltimore theaters including Single Carrot Theatre, Iron Crow Theatre, Cohesion Theatre, and Interrobang Theatre Company. Abby was an Education Apprentice at Everyman Theatre and she has interned in the literary departments of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. She holds a Master’s Degree in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio.

Rebecca Campana


Pronouns: she/her | Department: Community Engagement (School Programs Manager and Co-Camp Director)

Edgar Dobie


Pronouns: he/him| Department: Executive Producer, President of the Corporation

Born in Vernon, British Columbia, a village next to the Rocky Mountains (three years after Arena had its first performance in 1950), I am one of five brothers raised by my Dad Edgar, a mechanic and small businessman, and Mom Connie, a telephone operator and union organizer. I am the only Dobie to make a career in theater. Luckily for me, drama was an arts elective I was offered at the tender age of 12 so I hung up my hockey skates and joined the drama class, led by teacher Paddy Malcolm and her fledgling Powerhouse Community Theater after school. By the time I graduated from high school, we volunteers had built ourselves a 200-seat, fully equipped theater on its own piece of land in the center of town and found a sold-out audience for the full season of plays we had on offer. That experience taught me so many lessons about the power of theater to foster collaboration and share meaningful stories, as well as the public values that attach themselves to building a safe place where everyone is welcome. All those lessons served me well as a managing leader and producer both sides of the border and both sides of the commercial and non-profit theater divide. Arriving here in Southwest with my good wife Tracy and our daughter Greta Lee in 2009 makes me feel like I am well-equipped to do a good job for you all. I am honored to have been recognized for my service to and leadership of the Washington, D.C.-area theatre community as a recipient of Theatre Washington’s inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award in 2022.

Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

Pronouns: she/her

Paige is a freelance scenic designer based in the Washington, D.C. area. Previously at Arena, Paige designed the set for Right to Be Forgotten. In the D.C. area, Paige has recently designed at Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Theater J, Mosaic Theater, Woolly Mammoth, the Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Solas Nua, Imagination Stage, Everyman Theatre, and Studio Theatre. Regionally, Paige has recently designed at The Muny, Cleveland Play House, Arden Theatre, Pioneer Theatre, People’s Light, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Asolo Rep. Paige received her MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Maryland and her BFA in Scenic Design from the University of Oklahoma. She is a proud member of USA 829.

Elizabeth Hawks

Elizabeth Hawks

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Associate Director, Content & Creative Services)

Elizabeth is a native Texan who began a nomadic lifestyle after marrying a Navy sailor. A lifelong writer and voracious reader, she particularly enjoys stories of unseen heroes. She is also a mixed media artist, graphic designer, and former high school English teacher. Those skills led to her current position leading a talented team of content creators. Beyond her profession, she is a mother of three, lover of football, and an outdoorsman.

Destiny King


Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing

Destiny is an arts leader, musician, and advocate from rural North Carolina. She recently received her bachelor of music in music education with a minor in arts administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). At UNCG, Destiny was incredibly active within the School of Music, Office of Leadership; Civic Engagement, and in her community. For three years, Destiny also served on the North Carolina Music Educators Association Board for the Collegiate Section. Destiny’s primary instrument is the oboe, and she has performed with UNCG’s Middle Eastern Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. Destiny currently performs with and serves as director of marketing for Appalachia: A Southeastern Wind Symphony. Like a true North Carolinian, Destiny enjoys Bojangles sweet tea and hiking in Western NC.

Elizabeth Hawks

Zoë Elizabeth Lillis*

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Development

Zoë is a director and producer from Boston, MA, who now finds herself based in New York City and D.C. She recently graduated from NYU Gallatin with a B.A. in Directing and Dramatizing History, with a focus on the relationship between narrative and the process of production. Zoë is most driven by opportunities to develop an engaging and equitable process of theater creation for all involved – from the very first stages of a project to how it will ultimately live each night in performance. When she is not dreaming up a new show, Zoë loves knitting, skiing, and playing guitar. Zoë is thrilled to join Arena Stage as their 2022/23 Artistic Fellow and is so excited to learn from their incredible team.

Clare Lockhart

Clare Lockhart

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Marketing (Manager, Email & Digital Content)

Clare grew up in DC, performing and watching theater since she knew how to speak. Fun Fact: Clare played a small role in Arena Stage’s Damn Yankees in 2005.  A graduate from Emerson college, Clare studied Theatre Management and Political Science. While these studies may seem disparate they combine a want to communicate with people and tell untold stories. Born in London, Clare is a lover of travel, drinking tea, and most of all — dogs.

Lauren Lopaty

Lauren Lopaty

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Development (Membership Manager)

Lauren Lopaty has been with Arena Stage since 2019. She grew up in northern New Jersey where proximity to Broadway led to a lifelong appreciation for all things theater. A classical pianist, Lauren had the opportunity to play in several pit orchestras in her small hometown, often filling in for different instruments on the keys (notably the cello in Sweet Charity and the accordion in Fiddler on the Roof). She studied International Affairs and Russian Language and Literature at George Washington University, and has fallen in love with Washington, D.C. since moving here in 2014. She is an avid reader, and can usually be found with her nose stuck in a book while drinking a cup of earl grey tea.

Anita Marynard-Losh

Anita Maynard-Losh

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Community Engagement

Anita has been involved in an artistic capacity on 45 Arena Stage productions. Anita trained and taught at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, was on the faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, headed the theater department at the University of Alaska Southeast, and was the associate artistic director of Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, where she directed 21 mainstage productions. She has coached dialects for the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, and the Broadway revival of Ragtime. Anita has traveled with Arena Stage’s devised theater program, Voices of Now, to India, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina to collaborate with communities in devising original plays addressing social justice issues.

Clare Lockhart


Pronouns: (they/she) | Department: Marketing (Administrative Coordinator & Executive Assistant)

Bianca Pena

Bianca Peña*

Pronouns: she/her/ella | Department: Media Relations

Bianca is a first generation Mexican-American artist from San Antonio, Texas, now based in the DMV area. She is a recent graduate from George Mason University where she received her B.F.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Performance for the Stage and Screen. She loves binge watching Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends during her free time as well as playing with her cat, Toothless.

Otis Ramsey-Zöe

Pronouns: he/him | Department: Artistic Development

Otis Ramsey-Zöe is a care worker, dramaturg, director, theatre arts educator, Literary Manager at Arena Stage, and Lecturer in Dramaturgy at the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. He has developed new works at such institutions as Sundance Institute, Kennedy Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Center, and National New Play Network. He has held posts in Theatre at Northeastern University, Dramaturgy at Carnegie Mellon University, Women’s Studies and Honors Humanities at University of Maryland, Performing Arts at American University, and Theatre Arts at Howard University. He was Associate Artistic Director at banished? productions, Future Classics Program Coordinator at The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Literary Manager at Center Stage, and an Allen Lee Hughes Senior Fellow at Arena Stage.


Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Development (Associate Artistic Director)

Teresa joined Arena Stage’s artistic staff in 2019, after seven seasons at La Jolla Playhouse. At the Playhouse she helped guide over fifty productions on the mainstage and out in the San Diego community, including new plays by Martyna Majok, Will Power and Hansol Jung. She was the curator and producer of the 2019 Without Walls Festival of site-based and immersive theater which hosted over twenty international and American companies. As the co-producer of the annual DNA New Work Series, she supported the development of over thirty-eight new plays and musicals. In addition to producing, she was the Playhouse’s local casting director for numerous plays and musicals, including the world premieres of Wild Goose Dreams, Junk and Come From Away. She is a reader for The Playwrights Realm, Playwrights’ Center Minneapolis, Native Voices at the Autry and a proud contributor to the Kilroys’ List. Sapien is a graduate of the University of Evansville’s Theatre Department.

Hana S. Sharif


Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Director

Hana has enjoyed a multi-faceted theater career, including roles as an artistic leader, director, playwright, and producer with a specialty in strategic and cross-functional leadership. Hana began her professional career as an undergraduate student at Spelman College. From 1997 to 2003, Hana served as the co-founder and Artistic Director of Nasir Productions, a theater dedicated to underrepresented voices challenging traditional structure. Hana joined the Tony Award-winning regional theatre, Hartford Stage, in 2003. During her decade-long tenure at Hartford Stage, Hana served as the Associate Artistic Director, Director of New Play Development, and Artistic Producer. Hana launched the new play development program, expanded the community engagement and civic discourse initiatives, and developed and produced Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer, and Obie Award-winning shows. Starting in 2012, she served as Program Manager at ArtsEmerson, a leading world theater company based at Boston’s Emerson College. During her tenure at ArtsEmerson, Hana launched an Artists in Residency program, led a research program assessing barriers to inclusion across the region, and leveraged her regional theater experience to freelance produce for smaller theater companies looking to expand and restructure their administrative teams. Hana was Baltimore Center Stage’s Associate Artistic Director from 2014 to 2019 and was the architect of the innovative CS Digital program: a platform that pushes the boundaries of traditional theater and looks at the nexus point between art and technology. Her other achievements at Baltimore Center Stage included prototyping the Mobile Unit focused on historically underserved audiences, strengthening community engagement, producing multiple world and regional premieres, and helping to guide the theater through a multi-million dollar building renovation and rebranding effort. Hana became the first Black woman to lead a major regional theater in 2018 when she was named the Augustin Family Artistic Director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. During her tenure at The Rep, Hana guided the organization through a strategic alignment, revolutionized the New Works program, expanding access to underserved communities, and centering equity and anti-racism as the organization’s foundational values. Hana holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from the University of Houston. Hana is the recipient of USITT’s 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award, Spelman’s 2022 National Community Service Award, the 2009-10 Aetna New Voices Fellowship, EMC Arts Working Open Fellowship, and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) New Generations Fellowship. Hana is a founding member of The Black Theatre Commons (BTC). She serves on the board of directors for the TCG, BTC, and the Sprott Family Foundation.

Molly Smith


Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Director Emeritus

Molly served as artistic director from 1998 to 2023. Her almost 40 directing credits at Arena Stage include large-scale musicals, like Catch Me If You Can, Anything Goes, Disney’s Newsies, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Cabaret, South Pacific; new plays, like Celia and Fidel, Sovereignty, The Originalist, Camp David, Legacy of Light, The Women of Brewster Place, How I Learned to Drive; and classics like Mother Courage and Her Children, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Great White Hope, and All My Sons. Her directorial work has also been seen Off-Broadway at 59E59 in New York, Portland Center Stage, Canada’s Shaw Festival, The Court Theatre, The Old Globe, Asolo Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Montreal’s Centaur Theatre, and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979–1998. Molly has been a leader in new play development for over 40 years. She is a great believer in first, second, and third productions of new work and has championed projects, including Dear Evan Hansen; Next to Normal; Passion Play, a cycle; and How I Learned to Drive. She led the re-invention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists through its artistic programming. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 100 productions, produced 39 world premieres, staged numerous second and third productions, and been an important part of nurturing nine projects that went on to have a life on Broadway. In 2014, Molly made her Broadway debut directing The Velocity of Autumn, following its critically acclaimed run at Arena Stage. She was awarded honorary doctorates from American University and Towson University. In 2018, she was honored as Person of the Year by the National Theatre Conference and inducted into the Washington DC Hall of Fame. In 2020, she was awarded the Director of Distinction in Cairo, Egypt, from the Academy of Arts. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she developed the concept for two online films, May 22, 2020 and The 51st State, overseeing the production direction as well as directing pieces within the films. She also spearheaded a variety of other new online content, including a weekly talk show Molly’s Salon, during the live performance hiatus.

Kayla A. Warren

Kayla A. Warren*

Pronouns: she/her | Department: Education

Kayla A. Warren is a Philadelphia native and graduate of Howard University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Her first experience with Arena Stage was in 2021 when she served as Assistant Director on Toni Stone. She is currently the 2022-23 School Programs fellow in Arena’s Allen Lees Hughes BIPOC Fellowship Program. Kayla has a passion for youth empowerment and believes that one of the best pathways for this initiative is through theatre. She is a strong advocate for accessibility and inclusion within theatre education. In addition to being an arts advocate and educator, Kayla is also a performer and choreographer.

*Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellow. The mission of Arena Stage’s Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship is to cultivate the next generation of BIPOC theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater.