UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 07 Winter 17 Library
Sara Corwin

Welcome New Artistic Director Jenny Wales

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The 2018 Heritage Theatre Festival season has not yet been announced. But one thing is for sure, it will definitely include a homecoming. Jenny Wales (College ‘98), who earned an MFA Degree in acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival/University of Alabama and has appeared in productions in New York and at regional theatres across the country, makes her return to Grounds as the new Artistic Director at Heritage next summer. The move is the latest chapter in a highly successful theatre and arts administration career that most recently found Wales at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill as Associate Producer and Director of Education and Outreach for PlayMakers Repertory Company. She played a pivotal role during a period of tremendous growth for the organization, including producing six mainstage productions each year, spearheading the acclaimed PRC2 post-show discussion series, leading successful grant applications, participating in creative marketing efforts, and continuing to develop PlayMakers’ award-winning education programs. “We are so happy to have Jenny Wales back on Grounds and back in the Drama Department,” said Drama Department Chair Colleen Kelly, who acted as Interim Director at Heritage for the past two years following Bob Chapel’s retirement. “Her keen artistic sensibilities, unique array of talents, and unbridled enthusiasm make her the perfect candidate to lead Heritage into the future, and we look forward to working with and supporting her in those efforts.” For her part, Wales could not be happier to return to the place where her own artistic dreams first took shape. “I am excited, humbled, and honored to have the opportunity to give back to and serve the University of Virginia community that has given me so much,” she said. “The University, and specifically the Drama Department, taught me about who I wanted to be as an artist, and clarified the importance of being a citizen scholar. I look forward to honoring the Heritage legacy by pioneering a new path for the future.”

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