Actors Arena

“When we opened the Mead Center for American Theater, we wanted to be a part of the Washington theater community and open our doors to artists as well as audiences. This program is completely driven by actors in our community. The program has grown by leaps and bounds, giving actors what they want—they decide the direction and where they would like to improve. It’s exciting to have that energy in our artistic home. I know most of these talented artists personally and am proud that we can offer this professional development to our local acting community.” – Molly Smith, Arena Stage's Artistic Director

What is Actors Arena?

Actors Arena is a professional development program that offers free workshops to a membership of local Washington, D.C. professional actors. Through hands-on workshops, invited perspectives and roundtable conversations, members of Actors Arena engage in dialogue that encourages artistic growth in order to inspire, rejuvenate and strengthen the D.C. theater community.

This season Actors Arena is exploring the theme of “Coming to Mastery” and “Mastering your Artistry.” Some of the featured presenters this season include: Molly Smith, Erika Rose, Kara-Tamekia Smith, Colin Hovde, Naomi Jacobson, Dody DiSanto, Steven Dietz, Deborah Tannen, Jenna Duncan, Patrick Pearson, Kelly D’Amboise, Victor Vazquez and Caleen Jennings.

Whether it comes in a flash or late in the process, character is the essential lens through which actors shine, illuminating recognizable, fascinating, potentially outrageous, three-dimensional human beings with memories, experiences, tensions, opinions and a unique perspective and point of view. Some of us grind this lens from outside ourselves; others find the lens within. Join us to create and develop character.

2017/18 Steering Committee

Kelly Armstrong
Naomi Jacobson
Sean-Maurice Lynch
Larry Redmond
Jefferson Russell
Dorea Schmidt
Stephen F. Schmidt
Kimberly Schraf
Jjana Valentine


Get Involved

Actors Arena workshops are available to local Washington D.C. Actors. To request an membership application, or for more information about Actors Arena, please email at or call (202) 488-4056.


Actors Arena is generously sponsored in part by the Actors' Equity Foundation.