Jason Loewith, the librettist, director, theatre administrator and new-plays advocate who most recently served as executive director of the National New Plays Network, has been named artistic director at Olney Theatre Center, the Maryland not-for-profit company serving audiences in Baltimore and Washington, DC.
His tenure there begins Feb. 4. In tandem with managing director Amy Marshall, he will choose titles and creative teams for the Olney's 2014 season.
Loewith has created theatre as a producer, director, playwright and dramaturg in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and now Washington, DC. As a playwright, he won Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, and Jeff Awards for Best New Musical for Adding Machine: A Musical, which he co-wrote with composer Joshua Schmidt. He produced the world premiere at Chicago's Next Theatre Company (Next) in 2007, where he served as artistic director from 2002-2008. That production went on to a six-month run Off-Broadway in 2008, winning four Obie Awards for direction, design and performance.
Loewith directed a dozen regional and world premieres at Next, where his programming twice received the After Dark Award for Outstanding Season (2003-04 and 2005-06), and work that he directed or produced won multiple Jeff, After Dark and Black Theatre Alliance Awards.
Since moving to Washington in 2009, Loewith has directed new plays for Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, DC's Studio Theatre and Baltimore's Everyman and Centerstage, where he also served as associate producer for special programs. During that time, Loewith served as executive director of the National New Play Network (NNPN), the country's alliance of theatres that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays. With NNPN he supervised dozens of "rolling world premieres" — separate productions of the same new title, in a specific time frame — across the country by writers like Luis Alfaro, Steven Dietz, Quiara Alegría Hudes and Theresa Rebeck. In his four years at the helm, NNPN added new programs and expanded old ones, garnering major new funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Earlier in his career Loewith served for two years as artistic administrator for Chicago’s Court Theatre, five years as general manager (and frequent dramaturg) at Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company, worked in the literary departments of the Mark Taper Forum and the Public, and mounted 50 productions in three years as production manager at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles.
His book "The Director's Voice, Volume 2" was published by TCG in 2012.
Olney Theatre Center, celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2013, is an award-winning, nonprofit, Equity theatre. Located just north of Washington, DC, in Montgomery County, MD, Olney Theatre Center offers a diverse array of professional productions year-round. It's situated on 14 acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick "triangle," within easy access of all three cities.
Olney Theatre Center is home to the National Players, America's longest-running touring company.