MARIA MANUELA GOYANES, Artistic Director
MARIA MANUELA GOYANES (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Prior to joining Woolly, she served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
While at The Public, Maria also held a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curated the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She has guest lectured at Bard College, Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Juilliard, the National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, UCSD, the University of Texas-Austin, and Yale University, among others. Since 2015, Maria has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004 to 2012, Maria was the Executive Producer of 13P, one of her proudest achievements.
Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.
EMIKA Abe, MANAGING Director
EMIKA ABE (she/her/hers) comes to Woolly after three years as the Associate Managing Director of the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA), the largest regional theatre in the Southeast. At the Alliance, Emika led a portfolio of projects that guided the theatre’s organizational strategy, culture, and general management. These included stewarding the 70-person Advisory Board, co-chairing the Alliance’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and defining the theatre’s mission, vision, and values. Emika is on the Advisory Board of Found Stages, she served as Mentorship Co-Chair of LORT’s EDI Initiative, and she is an alum of LEAD Atlanta, Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta, and Theatre Communications Group’s Young Leaders of Color. Emika holds an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a BA in Theater from UCLA. At Yale, she was the recipient of the Morris J. Kaplan Award for Theater Management and Co-Chair of the Internship Fund. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Emika has previously held positions at Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, as well as fellowships at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center Theatre Group, and Artists Repertory Theatre. Emika is passionate about the intersection of art and business, and the essential role that theatre can play in activating individuals and strengthening communities.
J. CHRIS BABB, President, Board of Directors
J. CHRIS BABB (he/him/his) is President of The Group Tour Company; a family business founded in 1975. Born and raised in Washington, DC he is a graduate of James Madison University. Following graduation, Chris embarked on a career in theatre management working at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Shakespeare Theatre and Source Theatre Company. Chris resides in Washington’s historic Shaw neighborhood with his partner and serves on the Boards at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Leadership Greater Washington (LGW) and the National Tour Association (NTA).