Discovery Theater Staff
Roberta Gasbarre, Director of Discovery Theater. With more than 35 years in the field of educational theatre, Roberta Gasbarre is recognized as a Washington leader in all aspects of arts-based learning. A Fulbright Scholar (touring Central and South America and doing her residency in Poland) whose primary interest is in heritage and traditional arts, she has created a museum theatre form that weaves the factual and the imaginative into exciting, interactive experiences for audiences of all ages.
Roberta’s professional theatre career includes work at most Washington, DC-area theaters. She worked with the groundbreaking Living Stage Company, Arena Stage’s outreach company; served as choreographer or movement stylist for six seasons with Michael Kahn at The Shakespeare Theater; and styled dances and movement for such theaters as Roundhouse Theater, Woolly Mammoth, Studio Theatre, and Washington Jewish Theatre. Fluent in sign language, she served on the faculty at Gallaudet University, and has also taught at George Washington University, American University, Montgomery College (Rockville, MD), and in Poland at the University of Poznan. Her dedication to educational theatre is evident in her extensive experience with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts field trip program and Kaiser Permanente’s AIDS and health education initiative, among other programs.
A presenter and creator of plays and performances for the Smithsonian Institution for many years, Roberta became Discovery Theater director in 2000, deepening the theater’s commitment to educational enrichment and broadening its connection to the museums on and off the National Mall. She sees the theater as a “gateway” experience, introducing Smithsonian topics, themes, and collections to children. Drawing on her knowledge of world theatre to present “living exhibits” with master artists demonstrating traditional and cultural arts, Roberta selects or creates Discovery Theater programs that bring the world directly to audiences of educators and students, parents and children. Original works produced with professional educational artists highlight themes and offer learning opportunities vital to young people in this time of rapid globalization.
Roberta received her BA from the Catholic University of America and an MFA from Towson University, specializing in interdisciplinary world experimental theatre and art. She is an active member of the International Museum Theater Alliance, the Association of American Museums, and ASSITEJ-USA (The United States Center for the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People). Roberta has served on grants panels in educational theatre for many years, including the NEA, DC Commission on the Arts, and Prince George’s County Arts Council.
Roberta and her husband, educational artist Oran Sandel, have two sons, Colin and Jamie. The family is active in The Washington Revels, a community organization presenting and preserving music, dance and drama around cyclical celebrations (such as Winter Solstice celebrations and outdoor festivals in May). Roberta has served as Washington Revels Artistic Director for over a decade.
Sara Lokossou, Box Office Manager/Administrative Coordinator. Sara joined the Discovery Theater team in August, 2006. Before that, she was a full-time apprentice at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD. She hails from upstate NY where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Hartwick College. Sara has worked part time at many local theatres here, including Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Shakespeare Theatre, and Ford’s Theatre. Sara resides in Bowie, MD with her husband and amazing toddler son.