About Us

We are passionate about our obligation to preserve theater by recording it.

WAPAVA is one of only two active Actors’ Equity-approved video performance archives in the United States. Since 1993 we’ ve recorded over 700 professional productions representing a cross-section of Washington-area theatres from large and famous to tiny and emerging.

The video recordings in the Archive, the James J. Taylor Collection, available for viewing at no charge at the University of Maryland’s Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library and at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC.

Our Videos
We produce single camera, one-take digital videotape recordings, which are burned to archival-quality DVD disks in the post-production process. Each of our videographers has at least ten years’ experience shooting live theater.

WAPAVA videographers visit a show three times, first simply to watch it, next to make a practice recording and, finally, to make the archival video. During post-production, sound and video levels are checked, and production credits are added before the DVD is burned.

The Selection Process
The WAPAVA Advisory Board is a group of Theater professionals, critics, academics, and theater lovers, which identifies productions for the Executive Committee to consider. Productions are chosen for their historical and educational value  considering the archive’s mission as a resource for theater professionals and scholars; students and educational programs; specialized researchers in local and national theater history; and the general public.  Premiers, unique events, community interest, and contributions of particular value by performers, directors, and/or designers are given special consideration. The Executive Committee decides what to record, taking into account recommendations, reviews, and available financing.

Who we are
Executive Director: Carole Bernard
Board of Directors
Jackson R. Bryer, President
Irene Wagner, Secretary/Treasurer
John Doolittle, William Largess,  Karen Shod, Christopher Youstra
Ex Officio: Mark Greek, Vincent J. Novara, Kerrie Cotten Williams

Honorary Board of Directors
John Palmer Claridge, Colleen Fay, Stephen Jarrett, Daniel MacLean Wagner, Bernard Welt

WAPAVA PO Box 6228, Washington, DC 20015

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