Delaware Shakespeare will begin 2024 with two dynamic arts leaders heading up the state’s largest professional Shakespeare company:
- Mariah Ghant, now the artistic associate and literary manager for the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, will become Delaware Shakespeare’s artistic director.
- Robert Tombari, now the program director of Goshen Theater in Goshen, Indiana, will step into the role of managing director.
|DelShakes' new Managing Director, Robert Tombari,
and new Artistic Director, Mariah Ghant.
Delaware Shakespeare audiences will recognize Ghant as having played Hippolyta/Titania in the company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Rodney Square, and last summer as the title role in Macbeth. She has served a term on the Delaware Shakespeare Artistic Squad and has held various arts administration roles in Philadelphia, as well as being a former Arden Theatre Company Apprentice (Class 26), a member of Theatre Contra, and an improviser with ComedySportz Philly. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she is an alumna of Vassar College.
"I have a strong desire to continue making meaningful art for the Delaware community, a vibrant collection of folks and organizations who have embraced me and my artistry,” Ghant said. “This is a team and an organization that has an incredible opportunity to develop theatre for everyone in the community, and I look forward to the journey ahead!"
Tombari has been the program director of Goshen Theater since 2022. Robert and his partner, Peter, are both from Spokane, Washington. While living in Washington, Robert co-founded The Spokane Shakespeare Society, served as board president of Stage Left Theater, and was the executive director of Spokane Ensemble Theatre. He has previously served on the board of Goshen Pride, and is a current board member/production team member of The Cursed Players based in Los Angeles. He received his BA in Performance from Boise State University, and his MFA in Acting from The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
“It’s exciting to be joining such an amazing organization as Del Shakes,” Tombari said. “The work that previous leadership, board members, artists, creatives, and volunteers have done for this organization shows me how community minded and forward thinking it is, and I am excited to continue to work for and with my new community.”
David Stradley has led Delaware Shakespeare as the company’s producing artistic director since 2011, spearheading a period of exponential growth that saw the creation of the Delaware Shakespeare Community Tour and art programming throughout the state. He will step down from his role at the end of the year.
"I'm elated that Mariah and Robert have said 'yes' to leading Del Shakes during its continued evolution as a community-centered theatre company,” Stradley said. “It's been an honor to work with Mariah as a member of the Artistic Squad and watch her lead a wide variety of programs that spoke to a broad mix of Delawareans. And I can already tell that Robert is going to be a force upon his arrival in Wilmington, embracing the opportunity to provide theatre for as many of his new neighbors as possible. I look forward to supporting them both, and joining you all as audiences for the thrilling experiences that are coming our way."
Ghant and Tombari will announce plans for the 2024 season of Delaware Shakespeare early next year.
About Delaware Shakespeare
Now in its twenty-first season, Delaware Shakespeare creates year-round professional theatre and learning programs for residents and friends of the State of Delaware. At Del Shakes, people from all walks of life celebrate and explore their shared humanity through the lens of Shakespearean work.