Celebrating outstanding and creative leadership.

Victor Shargai Leadership Award

2022 VSLA Celebration

The inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award was celebrated at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2022. The evening featured presentations highlighting Edgar Dobie and Paige Hernandez’s exceptional leadership, wonderful acceptance speeches, reception, and music. The event was a fundraiser for Theatre Washington and the Helen Hayes Awards.

2022 Recipients

Edgar Dobie serves as the Executive Producer at the Tony Award-winning non-profit Arena Stage, which he has led for over a decade. Edgar’s leadership has extended Arena’s reach beyond its stages and into the community, demonstrating collaborative leadership and consensus-building as a champion of theatre throughout the area. His effective advocacy, personal generosity, and commitment to theatre in the life of our community exemplify the spirit of this award.

Paige Hernandez is a critically acclaimed multidisciplinary artist who works throughout the Washington, DC area as a performer, director, choreographer, educator, and playwright. She is the Associate Artistic Director at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, MD, and the originator of B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT. Paige is a visionary in the arts, bringing together artists of wide-ranging talents across generations and genres. Her artistic integrity – reflected in a commitment to safe, equitable, and inclusive spaces for artists – is intrinsic to this award.


About the Award

The Victor Shargai Leadership Award (VSLA) recognizes individuals, groups, or institutions whose outstanding service and creative leadership have strengthened the Washington, DC-area theatre community. Theatre Washington established the award in 2021 in collaboration with Craig Pascal to honor Pascal’s late husband and beloved DC-area theatre champion, Victor Shargai. For decades Victor was an avid supporter of the Washington, DC region’s theatre community, its artists, and its institutions – generously donating his time and resources to theatres 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 theatre community. For more information about the Awards or how to nominate someone for it, please email amy@theatrewashington.org.

We are fortunate to have dedicated artists, audiences and donors who have enabled our theaters to outlast the pandemic and to flourish again. We've learned to appreciate more fully what we have so badly missed, and now celebrate the return of live theatre to enrich our community. The vitality of regional theatre depends on our commitment, inspired by creative and passionate leadership.
Jane Lang,
Founder and Chair Emerita, Atlas Performing Arts Center

Victor Shargai

Victor Shargai was born in New York City in 1936 where he had an acting career from a young age in stage, television, and radio productions. He later studied interior design and practiced as a designer in New York and Washington, DC for over 40 years. He established his own design firm with his late partner, John Aniello, Jr., in 1973 and worked throughout the continental United States. He devoted much effort and many years to numerous arts-associated endeavors. He served on the boards of The Washington Ballet and Studio Theatre, was a founding member of the Kennedy Center Friends Board, and was the long-time chair of Theatre Washington. Victor was immensely proud of the artistic excellence of the Washington Theatre community which was demonstrated in his unwavering support for the value of recognition and celebration through his support of the prestigious Helen Hayes Awards. Mr. Shargai was also a devoted reader of Jane Austen and other 19th Century literature. He resided at the Watergate with his husband, M. Craig Pascal.

Advancement Committee

Abby Fenton (Committee Co-Chair)
Executive Director, Whitman-Walker Foundation and
Chief External Affairs, Whitman-Walker

John Hauge (Committee Co-Chair)
Chief Financial Officer
The Global LPG Partnership 

Craig Pascal
Retired Community Development Banker

Abel Lopez (Chair, Theatre Washington)
Associate Producing Director
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Jane Lang
The Eugene Lang Foundation
Founder and Chair Emerita, Atlas Performing Arts Center

Andrew Ammerman
Fund for the Future of Our Children
CEO, Ammerman Investments

Jeff Banks
Vice President of Commercial Services
United Bank

Stacie Banks
Lee’s Flower and Card Shop 

Michael W. Bigley
The Venable Foundation 

Michael Burke
Board Member
Constellation Theatre Company

Susan Butler
Chair Emerita and Member Board of Trustees
Studio Theatre

Claire Carlin
Vice President of Partnership and Alliance
Destination DC

Jill Collins
Jill Collins Public Relations

Jan Du Plain
Du Plain Global Enterprises

David Grosso
Arent Fox

Shayla Hines
Director of Institutional Relations
Arena Stage 

Catherine Leggett
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Mission Square

Sheila Alexander-Reid
Senior Vice President Business Development

Serra Sippel
Chief Global Advocacy Officer
òs Feminista

Bonnie Nelson Schwartz
Theatre and Film Producer
Founder, Helen Hayes Awards

Carl Smith
Anderson Hopkins Award for Excellence in the Theater Arts