Theatrical Outfit Names Ed Laity as Board Chair

Theatrical Outfit Names Ed Laity as Board Chair

Theatrical Outfit, a professional theatre located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, has elected a new Board Chair, Wm. Edward Laity, who succeeds Interim Board Chair, Stephanie Watkins.

Mr. Laity's term as Chair began on July 1, 2018, after being elected at the Theatre's full board meeting on June 21st. He first joined the Board of Theatrical Outfit in 2016 and immediately made himself invaluable to the organization, serving on the Finance Committee and as Fundraising Chair.

Laity is President of DVA Navion in North America, where he leads a team of highly qualified professionals who are passionately committed to achieving exceptional results for all of organizations the firm serves. Since his consulting career began in 1988, Mr. Laity has planned and managed major capital campaigns, directed feasibility studies, helped strengthen annual giving programs and has been involved in all aspects of development operations.  Before consulting with many non-profit organizations, Mr. Laity served as the director of development at Boys Clubs of Metro Atlanta and as the community relations director for The Salvation Army in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a frequent lecturer, with a background in capital campaigns, board development, direct mail, special events, planned giving, marketing and communications.  Mr. Laity is a past president of the Association for Fund-Raising Professionals’ Georgia Chapter, has served on the Association’s National Assembly and is currently a mentor in the Diversity Mentor Program.  He is an alumnus of Georgia State University.  Laity is the immediate past chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta - DeKalb County Board.

While not a native Atlantan, Ed Laity has lived in Atlanta for 46 years.  He attended Adair Park, Morningside Elementary, and Georgia State University. He and his wife, Debbie, live in DeKalb County; they have two grown daughters, three cats and a man-dog. Together, they enjoy traveling, gardening, reading and the theatre.

Laity succeeds Interim Board Chair, Stephanie Watkins, a retired accountant and arts advocate who served Theatrical Outfit during the 2017-2018 season; Ms. Watkins was also Board Chair from 2013 to 2015 when TO retired its mortgage on its downtown home, the beautiful Balzer Theater at Herren's. As Interim Chair, Ms. Watkins followed the chairmanship of Benjamin Hill, Senior Vice President of Talent Management and HR Strategy at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. 

Tom Key, Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit, welcomes the excitement and commitment of Mr. Laity as he assumes this new position of leadership.

The 2018-2019 Board of Trustees for Theatrical Outfit includes an impressive roster of individuals who each bring with them their own unique professional gifts, as well as a love for the theatre. The members are as follows:

Wm. Edward Laity, Board Chair - President, DVA Navion

Tommy Barrow - Retired CEO, Tom Barrow Company

Scott C. Bryan - Semi-retired, Consultant and Marketing Agency Executive

Caroline Duffy - Founding Partner / Senior Strategist, JacksonSpalding

Bill Duncan - Community Volunteer

Charlie Henn - Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend

Alexander Johnson - Founder and CEO, Triton Media Group

Karen McCrea - Actor, Community Volunteer

Pearl McHaney - Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature, Department of English, Georgia State University

Margaret H. Murphy - Retired Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta, GA

Mary Ulmer Jones - Sr. Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Bank of America

Jennifer Van Horn - Actor/ Vice President, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, American Airlines Flight Attendant

Stephanie Watkins - Accountant, retired



THE 2018-2019 SEASON OF BEAUTY, opening with

The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson

August 15-September 9, 2018

For tickets and information, visit


Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Major support is provided by the City of Atlanta's Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. Other season sponsors: Georgia Council for the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Turner Broadcasting, Publix Super Markets Charities, Macy’s, Kilpatrick Townsend, The Shubert Foundation, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

ABOUT OUR VENUEThe Book of Will plays at The Balzer Theater at Herren’s at 84 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303.

OUR VISION: A compassionate, joyful, and just community.  
OUR MISSION: Produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter.                     


Contact us
Tess Malis Kincaid Director of Communications and Development, Theatrical Outfit
AJ Stevenson Box Office Manager, Marketing Manager, Theatrical Outfit
Clifton Guterman Associate Artistic Director, Theatrical Outfit
Tess Malis Kincaid Director of Communications and Development, Theatrical Outfit
AJ Stevenson Box Office Manager, Marketing Manager, Theatrical Outfit
Clifton Guterman Associate Artistic Director, Theatrical Outfit
About Theatrical Outfit

Stories that stir the soul.

OUR VISION: A compassionate, joyful, and just community.
OUR MISSION: Produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter.

ABOUT THEATRICAL OUTFIT: Atlanta’s second-oldest professional theatre company was founded in 1976 and has been led by Artistic Director Tom Key since fall 1995. Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Balzer Theater is also the historical site of Herren’s, the first restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate in 1962; its first African American patrons were Dr. Lee and Delores Shelton. Mrs. Shelton passed away in 2019, but Dr. Shelton remains a patron at Theatrical Outfit to this day. Key's programming of classics, regional and world premieres, and musicals tell soul-stirring stories, with themes that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and religion; and often feature the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Lauren Gunderson, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Janece Shaffer, Sherry Shephard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, and Tennessee Williams. After ten years of capital investment, T.O. is in new territory. Having retired its mortgage, the staff, trustees, and artists have launched a new 2018-2020 Strategic Plan designed to produce great art, diversify and grow our audience, increase revenue and reserves, develop artists who contribute to the dramatic canon, and maintain an effective organization. In September of 2018, Theatrical Outfit welcomed Gretchen E. Butler as Managing Director.

ABOUT OUR VENUE: Unless otherwise noted, Theatrical Outfit's productions are performed in The Balzer Theater at Herren’s at 84 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Theatrical Outfit utilizes a Loop Listening System, making The Balzer Theater at Herren’s the first theater in the state of Georgia to incorporate this technology. Attendees with T-coil hearing aids may participate automatically, and others needing enhancement may obtain system-compatible headsets from our lobby Box Office.

Theatrical Outfit
84 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303