The Network for Emerging Leaders in the Theatre provides emerging and developing theatre professionals with advanced education, networking opportunities, and tools for career advancement within a supportive creative community.

New on IG Live

In an effort to expand The Network’s reach nationwide, ATW will host 30-minute conversations between pairs of theatre professionals in comparable roles on Instagram Live. Each pair will discuss their initial exposures to theatre, subsequent paths into the industry, and how they found themselves in their current positions.

To receive alerts when Network meetings take place, please sign up here. All Network meetings are premiered on Instagram live via the American Theatre Wing’s handle, @thewing.

What to Expect

  • The day of the meeting, you’ll head to Instagram to join our IG Live. Be prepared to take notes!
  • Only panelists will be on screen, but you’ll have the chance to ask questions LIVE via the chat.
  • Once you RSVP, you’ll receive an email and/or a text message on the day of the Live.

Funding the Performing Arts
Tuesday, December 6th at 2pm ET on Instagram Live

Anna Campbell (Howard Gilman Foundation) and Greg Reiner (National Endowment for the Arts) talk about their journeys from dancing ballet and running non-profit theatres to being major funders of new work, and the differences between private foundations and federal endowments.


About the Panelists

Anna Campbell As a former ballet dancer and longtime grantmaker, Anna was thrilled to join the Howard Gilman Foundation in 2015. In her role as Senior Program Officer, she has been Co-Chair of New York Grantmakers in the Arts, has been a panelist and speaker at Dance/NYC, Philanthropy New York, and Grantmakers in the Arts, and has led research studies with Americans for the Arts and DataArts. Previously, Anna was the Arts Program Officer at the Educational Foundation of America (EFA), where she developed and managed a portfolio of innovative creative placemaking projects in both urban and rural communities across the country. Anna began her career in philanthropy at the Massachusetts Cultural Council supporting local grantmaking programs throughout that state.

Greg Reiner joined the NEA as the director of theater and musical theater starting in September 2015. Reiner manages NEA grantmaking in theater and musical theater and represents the agency to the field. Most recently, Reiner was executive director of Classic Stage Company in New York City, where he launched CSC’s Musical Theater Initiative, the organization’s largest fundraising campaign, and implemented new education programs such as a Teen Council and a Shakespeare scene and monologue competition. Prior to that, Reiner was founding executive director of Tectonic Theater Project in New York City, where he received a Tony nomination for Best Play as one of the producers of 33 Variations.

Audience Engagement & Outreach
Tuesday, December 13th at 2pm ET on Instagram Live

Dawn V. Eskridge (Patron Services Manager, Synchronicity Theatre – Atlanta, GA) and Samara Safarik (Audience & Donor Relations Manager, Forward Theater Company – Madison, WI) compare their experiences building and maintaining audiences in their communities, and the unusual paths that brought them into professional theatre administration.


About the Panelists

Dawn V. Eskridge For the past two years, Dawn has served as the Production Manager for the Southeast Emmy Award-winning High School Musical Theatre Awards: The Shuler Hensley Awards, produced by the ArtsBridge Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. Previous roles include Production Manager for the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University and Director of Ticketing for Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, Illinois. With over 20 years of diverse theatre, education, and administration experience, her core competencies include Project and Event Management, Strategic Planning, Program Creation and Management, Staff and Student Development and Training, Budget Management, and Data Analysis.

Samara Safarik’s 25-year career as a theater maker spans from the stage to administration. As an AEA and SAG/AFTRA actor, she’s worked in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Madison in theater, film and television, notably as a core company member at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in LA for ten years. As an arts administrator, her work in casting, internship coordination, and development eventually lead her to Forward Theater Company, a professional SPT theater company in Madison, WI, where she serves as Director of Audience Engagement. She graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Theater and is the mama to two feisty daughters.