By Southwester Staff

Arena Stage is inviting the public to a series of intimate, one-night-only conversations with leaders in the world of theater. Launched as a virtual series during the pandemic, what became known as “Molly’s Salon” will return live and in person for a farewell tour as Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith prepares to step down after 25 years. 

The salons will take place on select Mondays from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Arena Stage’s Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle. The conversations with theater’s brightest thinkers, creators, and doers are free and open to the public. Tickets must be reserved in advance at

The salon schedule is as follows.  

Insightful: Laura Penn, March 6. Executive Director of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) since 2008, after a 25-year management career in the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). An Arena Stage alum.

Dynamic: Tazewell Thompson, March 13. Internationally acclaimed director for opera and theater, award-winning playwright, librettist, teacher, and actor. Arena Stage alum whose credits since the 1980s include A Raisin in the Sun, Jubilee, and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars.

Titan: James C. (Jim) Nicola, March 20. Retired in 2022 after leading the New York Theater Workshop since 1988, premiering projects like RENT. Before joining NYTW, Jim spent seven years at Arena Stage, first as a National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow and later as a Producing Associate.

Thoughtful: Edgar Dobie, March 27. Executive Producer at Arena Stage since 2009. A commercial producer for a number of years, Edgar also serves on the Board of Trustees, and was honored with the inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award by Theatre Washington in October 2022.

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