The National Theatre Foundation Names New CEO

Headshot of Beryl Jolly, the next CEO

PRESS RELEASE: May 17, 2024

The National Theatre Foundation Names New CEO

Beryl Jolly, an experienced arts leader, to assume role on June 15

Washington, DC — Beryl Jolly, an experienced leader in the arts, has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of The National Theatre Foundation.

Jolly was for more than 14 years the Executive Director of the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. She has also served as a Vice President at the Trustees of Reservations where she oversaw cultural properties throughout Massachusetts at the nation’s oldest land conservation organization, dedicated to preserving and sharing sites of natural and historical significance.

Jolly also held fundraising and development roles at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and management roles in theaters both on and off Broadway in New York City.

The non-profit National Theatre Foundation, in partnership with Broadway’s Nederlander Organization, oversees the preservation of the iconic National Theatre and its operations.

The National Theatre Foundation conducted a highly competitive nationwide search for a new Chief Executive Officer. The recruitment efforts were led by m/Oppenheim, an executive search firm that specializes in the arts, and the Foundation’s Search Committee.

Charles C. (Sandy) Wilkes, chair of the Foundation’s Board, said: “Beryl’s energy and broad experience impressed our Board of Directors.  She is an exceptionally talented arts and theater professional, perfectly suited to guide and lead the Foundation in the years ahead.”

“I am thrilled to join the National Theatre Foundation as its next CEO and to become part of this storied place in American theatrical history,” Jolly said.  

She continued, “My passion for theater began in the DC region as I grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. I am delighted to lead such a dedicated team and partner with our board and our Broadway tour colleagues on this next chapter of a legendary national treasure where artists like Helen Hayes, Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones have performed.” 

“It will be a privilege to ensure the theatre’s beauty and vitality for generations to come, and to share its unique assets through our archives and dynamic, year-round community and education programs.”

Jolly, who will begin work on June 15, will be responsible for four primary areas:

  • Capital improvements including critical repairs and upgrades of the century-old venue.
    • All of the Foundation’s education and community programs which focus on providing access to the performing arts to all ages, ranging from first performance experiences for young children to workshops for adults in assisted living facilities.
  • Preservation and exhibition of The National Theatre’s extensive historical archive with close to 200 years of rich material regarding legendary performers and audience members, including dozens of U.S. presidents.
  • Development, including the annual membership fund and investment in capital improvements.

About the National Theatre:

The National Theatre, founded in 1835 and the second oldest continuously operating theatre in the U.S., is just around the corner from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. The National Theatre has been an important venue for plays, musicals, and concerts and is known for its pre- Broadway premieres including West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Lost in Yonkers, If/Then, Mean Girls, Beetlejuice, and the revival of The Wiz.

The National Theatre Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit that stewards The National. Since 1974 the Foundation has preserved the history of the theatre and engaged with the greater Washington, DC community through unique community and educational programming that allows families, DC public school students, and aspiring Broadway artists to actively engage with our historic theatre.

Nederlander manages and programs the theatre, including the Broadway at The National series. The name “Nederlander” has been synonymous with great entertainment since 1912. Led by James L. Nederlander, President, Nederlander continues the tradition of operating historic theatres, as well as producing and presenting the best in theatrical entertainment and concert events. To learn more, please visit

With an array of education and community service programs in addition to its full theater season, The National is an invaluable resource for Washington, DC and beyond. Please visit

Photo credit: Christina Lane photography