The Wilma Theater Honors Former Managing Director James Haskins for its Fête 2019 Fundraiser

The Wilma Theater is set to celebrate its annual fundraising event, Fête 2019, honoring former Managing Director James Haskins, who in March departed the Wilma after 13 seasons of leadership to helm the renowned Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis as their new Managing Director. For Fête 2019, the Wilma seeks to recognize and celebrate Haskins for the indelible impact of his 20 years of service to the Philadelphia cultural community, having served a number of leadership roles at arts organizations throughout the city before landing at the Wilma in 2006. Philanthropists and arts leaders throughout the city will gather for an evening of gourmet fare and drink, and performances from local favorites. Tickets and sponsorships are on sale now for Fête 2019, which will be held at the Wilma on June 10, 2019 beginning at 5:30pm. 

James Haskins moved to Philadelphia in 1999 from Seattle to work as Managing Director of Interact Theatre Company, also serving on the board of the Philadelphia Theatre Alliance. He assumed the role of Executive Director of the Theatre Alliance in 2003 until 2006, when he was selected to oversee the administration of the Wilma Theater as its Managing Director. He would go on to steward the Wilma through periods of intense transition and growth, from the departure and eventual passing of Founding co-Artistic Director Jiri Zizka, to a $10M fundraising campaign to launch the Wilma’s resident acting company, the Wilma HotHouse Company, as well as a transformation of both its landmark façade and turning its former lobby space into a thriving branch of Philadelphia’s Good Karma Cafe. Artistic Director Blanka Zizka says “We are excited to honor James for his leadership, inventive mind, deep thoughtfulness, diligent efforts and dedication to the Wilma during his esteemed tenure. His caring spirit and friendship throughout the years is something I will always treasure.”

Fête 2019 will celebrate the legacy of Haskins and his impact on the thriving arts community, complete with performances from local artists such as singer/songwriter Gracie Martin, who was featured in the Wilma’s recent production of Romeo and Juliet as a composer and performer, as well as John Jarboe of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret performing in drag as Edith Piaf (a character from the Bearded Ladies’ watershed No Regrets: A Piaf Affair, which premiered at the Wilma in 2011) and famous Philadelphia Balkan Brass band West Philadelphia OrchestraPulling out all the stops, the Wilma has even enlisted local philanthropic community leader and performer Leonard C. Haas to host the evening’s ceremonies.

Those interested in sponsorship or underwriting opportunities may contact the Wilma’s Interim Development Director Cassandra Greenberg at or 215-893-9456.

Event Information
Fête 2019 will be held at the Wilma’s home, Wilma at Aurora, at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia. Festivities begin at 5:30pm. Cocktail attire is suggested.

Tickets, Sponsorships, and Program Advertisements
Tickets for Fête 2019 are $250 per person, with sponsorship packages beginning at $1,500. Those wishing to show their support for Haskins and the Wilma may purchase a program advertisement, which begin at $500, or make a donation in honor of James Haskins.

For more information or to make a purchase visit

The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative reflection on the complexities of contemporary life. We present bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles.

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