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About Theatre Philadelphia

Theatre Philadelphia unites, celebrates, and promotes the Philadelphia region's diverse and growing theatre community. We lead efforts that expand audiences and engage the public to participate in this community's work. Theatre Philadelphia envisions an equitable and inclusive region that champions and nurtures local artists. We aim to raise our city’s profile as a world-class city and enrich the lives of Philadelphia-area citizens.

Founded in 2012, Theatre Philadelphia is dedicated to bringing together and celebrating Philadelphia's diverse and growing theatre community. We are committed to leading efforts that grow audiences and promote the public participation in theatrical work. Over the past several decades, Philadelphia has transformed into a major regional theatre community, with a remarkable blossoming of new companies and new buildings, a growing pool of exceptional artists, and fiercely committed and curious audiences and supporters. Theatre Philadelphia envisions a region that celebrates this growing and ever-changing theatre community – nurturing local theatre artists, fostering the creation of extraordinary work, forging stronger connections between our art and audiences – recognizing that a diverse, robust, and thriving theatre community can play a pivotal role in making Philadelphia a world-class city. Theatre Philadelphia's programs include this website, the annual Barrymore Awards, and strategies for audience awareness and growth.


Sabriaya Shipley, Executive Director 

Sabriaya Shipley (She/They) Sabriaya is an educator, storyteller, and community ethnographer. Name a 2019 A+ Educator by Philadelphia Magazine and 2021 Black Lives Matter Philly Educator Fellow, Sabriaya holds a BA in Theatre from Temple University and a MA in Social Justice and Community Organizing from Prescott College. They have collaborated with several community-based organizations, residencies, and projects both locally and internationally, such as The Painted Bride Art Center, The Colored Girls Museum, Mural Arts Philadelphia, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Artwell Philly, Tree House Books, Residency 1111 in London, etc. Sabriaya is the author of a chapbook, Somewhere Between God & Mammy, published in 2022. In 2020, they co-founded Griot Girls - a writing collective for young Black & Brown girls. A recipient of the 2021 -2022 Philadelphia Foundation and Forman Arts Initiative Arts Works grant, 2022-2023  Rosine 2.0 Past Visions/Future Archives Micorgrant, and recently Allens Lane's Rebeccah Milena Maia Blum Curatorial Fellowship, Sabriaya is determined to cultivate performance, art, and archival spaces centered around the expressive freedom of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

CJ HigginsDirector of Operations and Programming

CJ Higgins (they/them) is a theatre artist who specializes in acting, directing, music, devising, playwriting, producing, and whatever else a project needs at a given moment. You may have seen their work as the Director of Production and Communications with The Hum’n’bards Theatre Troupe, through which they have collaborated on many productions including A Queer Christmas Carol, Fear Itself, and The #Knightlife Renaissance Faire. Or maybe you’ve seen them in the virtual theatre space during the pandemic in shows like We Can’t Wait (Tiny Dynamite), 154 Revisited (Revolution Shakespeare), or their daily livestream “Four PM with CJ Higgins”. They are also the co-host of My Gay Agenda, a queer interview podcast, and they were Theatre Horizon’s first season apprentice during the 2015/16 season. CJ’s mission as an artist is to use theatre as a tool for queer liberation and radical empathy. They are so excited and honored to work with Theatre Philadelphia to serve our community!


Ubuntu Young Artist Fellowship

Theatre Philadelphia aims to increase our work with the next generation of artists transitioning into the Greater  Philadelphia Theatre community. With a focus on those currently enrolled or recently graduated within the past year from an undergraduate theater program in the Greater Philadelphia area, The Ubuntu Young Artist Fellowship is an opportunity for young emerging artists interested in learning, supporting, and creating more space for fostering community between theatres, fellow young artists,  theatre community mentors, and theatre-goers. This spring we welcomed four youth fellows to join Theatre Philadelphia and assist with the design and facilitation of existing and new Theatre Philadelphia programming and outreach. Fellows were placed into the following sectors: Art Administration, Social Media/PR, and Community Engagement. 


Rose Farrell (she/her) - Art Administration Fellow 

Rose Farrell (she/her) recently graduated from the University of the Arts. She is an Arts Administration Fellow. She is a writer, director and producer.  She recently graduated from the University of the Arts, where she studied Directing, Playwriting, and Production, alongside screenwriting. As a producer, she’s helping foster two new artists' collectives. The first, GamePlay Theatre Lab, focuses on creating queer-led, choose-your-own-adventure theatrical experiences, with which she’s made two shows: Adam Sandler Jury Duty, and The Clownssacre. The other, My Mother Once Read, is a touring children’s entertainment company that aims to create contemporary art geared towards young people, and mobilize it to communities throughout the city. She’s a jack-of-all-trades theatre artist, and has worked with companies such as The Wilma Theater, Theatre Exile, Playpenn, and Quintessence Theatre Group in various roles and capacities.


Paige Bates (she/her) - Community Engagement Fellow 

Paige Bates (she/her) is a senior at Rutgers University-Camden. She is a Community Engagement Fellow, student, and singer.  She is a public servant in the library and a Theatre and Global Studies student at Rutgers-Camden. A Stories Invincible Fellow with the Center for Cooperative Media, she works to promote organizations that organize to combat food insecurity in Camden, NJ.  She has partnered with organizations such as the Perkins Center for the Arts in collecting oral histories for local artists, and recently collaborated on Camden Food, a publication about clean water and food equity. 

Caroline Heins (They/Them) - Community Engagement Fellow 

Caroline Heins (they/them) is a senior at Temple University and a Community Engagement Fellow.  They are a poet, performer, artist, and abolitionist making a home in Philadelphia. They major in geography and urban studies and have a minor in theatre. They believe in the power of theatre as a civic experience and community-building technology in resistance to systemic silencing. 


Aubree House (she/her) - Social Media Fellow 

Aubree House (she/her) is a freshman at Rutgers University—Camden and a Social Media and Public Relations Fellow. House is an artist and stage manager who has been a part of Germantown's Yes! And… Collaborative Arts for eight years. 


Board of Directors

Jason Lindner, President
Rachel Camp, Vice President
Conrad Person, Treasurer
Erlina Ortiz, Secretary 

TS Hawkins
Tai Verley
Mydera Robinson
Darnelle Radford 

Gilberto Vega 
Patreshettarlini Adams
R Eric Thomas 
Jose Alicia 


Alumni Board Members

*Susan D. Atkinson
Iain Campbell
Eileen Cella
Akeem Davis
Ryanne Domingues
Jameson Gilpatrick
*Kevin Glaccum

*Grace E. Grillet
*Leonard C. Haas
James Ijames
Matthew F. Lewandowski II
*Amy L. Murphy
*Terry Nolen
Daniel Perelstein

*Erin Reilly
*Anne Shuff
Patricia Stranahan
Anneliese Van Arsdale
*Thom Weaver
*Steve Pacek
Deborah Block
Kash Goins

Emily Zeck

Meredith Beck

Katrina Foy

Eric Thompson

*Founding Board Member

Learn more about our current Barrymore Award Voters

If you are a representative of a professional theatre company and would like more information about participating in the Barrymore Awards, please see our Submit a Production to the Barrymore Awards page. If you are a theatre artist or just love theatre in Philadelphia, there are many other ways for you to get involved with Theatre Philadelphia!

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