The Board of Directors and Advancement Committee of Theatre Washington, in partnership with Craig Pascal, community advocate and husband of Victor Shargai, are thrilled to announce the recipient of the 2024 Victor Shargai Leadership Award: Rebecca Medrano, collaborative leader, co-founder, and executive director of GALA Hispanic Theatre, the National Center for Latino Performing Arts.
The Victor Shargai Leadership Award (VSLA) recognizes individuals, groups, or institutions whose outstanding service and creative leadership have strengthened the Washington, DC-area theater community. Theatre Washington established the award in 2021 in collaboration with Craig Pascal to honor Pascal’s late husband and beloved DC-area theater champion, Victor Shargai. For decades Victor was an avid supporter of the Washington, DC, region’s theater community, its artists, and its institutions — generously donating his time and resources to theaters of all sizes. Additionally, Victor served as a long-time chair and member of the Theatre Washington Board of Directors and played a vital role in the annual Helen Hayes Awards. In honor of Victor’s legacy and leadership, the VSLA recognizes individuals or groups who have demonstrated exceptional initiative, collaboration, advocacy, and personal generosity in support of the Washington, DC-area theater community.
Honorees are nominated by their peers in an open nomination process, then reviewed by a selection committee: Jane Lang, Eugene M. Lang Foundation Founder and Chair Emerita, ATLAS Performing Arts Center; Abel Lopez, Board of Directors (former Chair), Theatre Washington; and Craig Pascal.
“Victor Shargai was an inspirational leader in our community in so many ways; it is his relentless passion to connect, collaborate, and celebrate Washington, DC-area theater that defines his legacy. He was our ultimate champion for decades and I’m thrilled that we will now annually celebrate his impact by recognizing leaders who carry on the work and spirit of community building,” said Amy Austin, Theatre Washington’s President & CEO. “Rebecca Medrano has been a leader in our theater community for almost 50 years and her work to create a nationally recognized Hispanic performing arts institution in Washington, DC, and commitment to innovative artistic endeavors is immeasurable.”
Rebecca Medrano is co-founder of GALA Hispanic Theatre with her husband Hugo Medrano and has been its Executive Director since 1976, shepherding over 48 years of continuous production. Deeply rooted in the community, Ms. Medrano has cultivated partnerships with other arts and social service organizations throughout the city. She has worked tirelessly to amplify the diverse voices of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. GALA’s education and outreach programs have impacted the lives of thousands of young people in DC and the body of work — from essential translations of classic work to world premieres from emerging artists — have brought awareness, understanding, and joy to DC theatergoers for decades.
Victor Shargai Leadership Awards Celebration
The 2024 Victor Shargai Leadership Award Celebration will take place in tandem with the 2024 Helen Hayes Award nominations at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center on H Street NE in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2024. The evening will be hosted by Alberto Piemienta, anchor for Noticiero Telemundo 44, with a performance by Francisca Tapia (2023 Helen Hayes Award recipient for her performance in ON YOUR FEET! En Español at GALA Hispanic Theatre). Tickets for the nominations announcements are complementary and tickets for the Vicgor Shargai Leadership Award, which include bites and cocktails, start at just $50 for industry professionals. More information, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, is available online.
Through collaborative partnerships and programs, Theatre Washington supports the Washington, DC, area’s professional theater community to celebrate artistic achievement, strengthen the theatrical workforce, support institutional growth and advancement, and cultivate collective action. Theatre Washington’s core programs include the Helen Hayes Awards, Theatre Week, Theatre Work, and the Taking Care Fund.