Mara Isaacs

Mara Isaacs. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Mara Isaacs is the founder and director of Octopus Theatricals LLC, a company dedicated to producing and consulting in the performing arts. With over 20 years of producing experience at flagship theaters in the United States, she is recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development and production as well as nonprofit organizational leadership. Isaacs began her professional career at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, where she produced new play development programs and productions from 1990–95. In 1995, she joined the McCarter Theatre Center staff, first as resident producer and then as producing director. For 18 seasons, she produced McCarter’s theater series and play development programs including numerous commissions and productions of new plays and musicals and transfers to Broadway and off-Broadway, to theaters around the country and internationally. She teaches courses in creative producing, international theater, and musical theater development for Princeton University, and has twice been selected as a mentor with the TCG New Generations Program. Isaacs has served the Center as a theater panel chair in 2010 and 2011, as well as a theater panelist in 2009 and an LOI panelist in 2013. Most recently, she was a 2014 Pew Fellowships panelist.


Collaborators & Colleagues

Tom Schorgl has been president and CEO of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture since its inception in 1997.

Grants & Grantees

An urban performing arts center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg Center presents touring theater, jazz, and world music.

Through the ongoing Center-funded project re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia, Painted Bride Art Center presents #PHILLYSAVESEARTH by performance artist and theater director Marty Pottenger.

The Wilma Theater, in partnership with Intercultural Journeys and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of Pennsylvania (HIAS), presents an evening of music from the world premiere of the play Adapt!.

New Paradise Laboratories’ The Adults is a truly collaborative theater piece, exploring the not-so-hidden darkness of human nature and its impact on the natural world. Since its world premiere at Painted Bride Art Center on September 3, The Adults has received rave reviews.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist Jason Moran serves as Kennedy Center’s Artistic Advisor for Jazz.

InterAct Theatre Company collaborated with consultant CultureWorks in a creative placemaking and strategic business planning process designed to revitalize the Adrienne, a multi-tenant arts facility where InterAct is based, as a regional hub for the development and production of new theater.

A Fierce Kind of Love, a new play about the fight for disability rights, will be part of a series of public programs meant to generate public discussion beyond the disability community.

The ICA presents Endless Shout, an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project examining the role of performance in museum spaces.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Artist and community activist Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses, a neighborhood-based nonprofit arts and cultural organization in Houston’s Northern Third Ward.

Finding a “form to contain [the mess]” is one way that 2013 Pew Fellow Jenn McCreary describes her motivation for writing poetry. An avid note-taker, she tasks herself to find forms for disparate ideas.

Grants & Grantees

New Paradise Laboratories is an experimental performance ensemble that explores radical means to bend conventional ideas of theater.