Hogans named executive director, Betley theater manager
CHESTERTOWN — The Garfield Center for the Arts board of trustees announces the selection of Tess Hogans as the Garfield Center’s new executive director.
Hogans has held the role of theater manager since she joined the Garfield in 2014.
“As the Garfield Center for the Arts enters its second decade, the board is thrilled to have Tess as its executive director. Her enthusiastic leadership assures us that the next decade will be filled with exciting events for everyone,” said Judy Kohl, vice president of the Garfield Center’s board of directors, in a news release.
The board voted unanimously to offer the position to Hogans during their regular meeting at the end of 2017.
A life-long resident of Kent County, Hogans attended Kent School and graduated from Gunston Day School. Hogans went on to major in theater and dance studies at Wheaton College and was the recipient of the college’s 2010 award for excellence in acting.
Hogans returned to Chestertown and began teaching drama part time for grades sixth through 12th at the Maven Academy in Annapolis as well as running an after school acting workshop at the Garfield.
Along with her executive director responsibilities, Hogans will continue to spearhead the Garfield’s Playmakers’ Summer Theatre Camp. According to the news release, she oversaw the Playmakers’ productions of “The Hobbit,” “Peter Pan & Wendy,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Princess Bride” and is looking forward to work- ing on this summer’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.”
The news release stated Hogans also is a volunteer director for the Garfield’s theatrical productions. Her past efforts include “Mister Roberts,” “My Fair Lady,” “A Christmas Carol” and “Inherit the Wind.”
Hogans also is involved with the Chestertown HP Festival. She has served on its board since the festival’s inception in 2014 and is the current president of the festival board.
Hogans lives in Chestertown with her husband Matthew and their two daughters, Marian and Ronan. Her parents, Jonathan and Beverly also live in the area as does her brother Ben Jones and sister Marva Jones.
“My main goal is to make this a space that everyone in the community feels like they have ownership of — like it is a part of their home. I am really hoping that we can do more partnerships with the community and community organizations. We are in the middle of the Arts & Entertainment district and we want to be a hub for creativity,” Hogans said in the news release.
She said, “I really want this to be a home for artists — wheth- er you are an aspiring actor or a painter or a director or a playwright — we have opportunities for you! I want to get the word out that if you have something you want to try — this is the space to try it!”
Bryan Betley will be taking over her previous role of theater manager. Betley has been a member of the Garfield staff first as an intern starting in 2013 and was promoted to production assistant in January 2015.
Betley has assisted Hogans in the Playmakers’ Summer Program and is set to take on more responsibility with the youth camp and production.
Betley has appeared in Garfield productions including “My Fair Lady” and played three different characters in “Sylvia.” He has directed several 10-minute plays in “Short Attention Span Theatre” the Garfield’s signature 10-minute play festival.
His next role is that of director in “The Little Prince” a performance-art piece based on the book by Antoine de SaintExuperey. “The Little Prince” opens Feb. 16 and is the first theatrical production for 2018.
After having been homeschooled, Betley received his GED and diploma at age 16, and shortly after began classes at Chesapeake College. Betley currently studies photography and fine arts privately through several online programs.
Betley currently resides in Chestertown but spent much of his upbringing in Kent County with his family on Colchester Farm in Galena, and prior to that, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.