Ian Anthony Coleman replaces Randy Snight as drama director


Ian Anthony Coleman stars as Wiley in “Wiley and the Hairy Man” at Imagination Stage. He has been in many productions in and around the Bethesda and D.C. areas. Photo courtesy IAN ANTHONY COLEMAN.

By Eve Titlebaum

Ian Anthony Coleman will replace Randy Snight as the Whitman Drama director next year. Last year was Snight’s first at Whitman; he directed Pippin and The Tempest. Whitman Drama boosters announced the change May 28 after administrators searched and interviewed candidates.

Coleman has worked in many theaters around the DMV—including Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre and Round House Theatre. At Round House, he directed shows for kids ages K-12. He trained at the Overtures Musical Theatre Institute at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA in 2014 where he learned vocal technique, performance technique, dance, acting and audition skills.

Although Snight re-interviewed, administrators chose Coleman because of his vast experience and qualifications both being a performer and educator.

Technical director Harley Pomper is optimistic but wary of the difficulties that come with instating a new director. It can be hard for new directors to be comfortable and communicative because of Whitman’s unique environment, she said.

Assistant principal Michelle Lipson was in charge of hiring a new drama director, and chose Coleman because he is “very qualified.” Master technician Alexander Evans, instrumental director Terry Alvey and choral director Jeffrey Davidson were also involved in the search process and ultimately decided to hire Coleman.

“There’s a much stronger background for him in education and working with young artists,” Evans said. “I’m very excited to work with him in figuring out what we can do to support his visions.”

Coleman plans on bringing a fresh perspective to next year’s fall musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which he announced Monday.

“It’s going to be a great year,” Coleman said. “I have a lot of fun ideas in-store and I can’t wait to share them with Whitman.”