Our New York based staff is a diverse team with years of industry experience.

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Gretchen Shugart

Executive Director


Gretchen Shugart’s professional experience encompasses finance, entrepreneurship, technology, operations management, and leadership.

As CEO, Gretchen spent seventeen years building TheaterMania.com, Inc., a media and technology company, from start-up to its 2017 sale.  During her tenure, the company acquired U.K.-based WhatsOnStage; launched OvationTix©, a SaaS business providing ticketing, fundraising, and CRM tools to hundreds of performing arts organizations; executive produced the Drama Desk Awards and became a leading provider of theater information and tickets to millions of consumers nationwide.  Following TheaterMania’s sale, Gretchen served as President, Arts & Culture of acquiring company AudienceView, ensuring a smooth transition to new ownership.  For the last year, Gretchen has been providing consulting services to several early stage ventures.

Previously, Gretchen worked at JP Morgan Chase predecessors MHT and Chase; M&A advisory firm CEA; Bank of Montreal and as President of eMediaCapital LLC, an advisory firm.

Gretchen has been a board member of Theatre Forward for over a decade, serving as President from 2011 to 2018.  She currently serves on the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Advisory Council and is Co-Chair of the museum’s Council on Feminist Art. She is a mentor in Columbia University’s Masters in Technology Management program.  Past board positions include the Vineyard Theater, TADA!, and the Advisory Board of California Institute of the Arts.

Gretchen and spouse Jonathan Maurer reside in Manhattan and have two grown children.

Elizabeth Monz

Director of Philanthropy


Elizabeth “Betty” Monz has joined Theatre Forward’s dynamic team of theatre professionals as the Director of Philanthropy. She has a long history of fundraising, leadership and management experience in the arts, education and technology fields.

Betty most recently served as the Director of Philanthropic Engagement at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, working closely with the Board and Executive Team on a Sustainability Initiative that provides extraordinary resources for the visionary tenure of Artistic Director Jacob Padrón. She is well versed in the challenges of the current model for making theatre as well as the need for theatres to evolve to remain relevant to, and inclusive of, the many communities they serve. She has extensive experience in the strategic engagement of donors as both supporters and investors in the future of theatre.

Prior to working at LWT, Betty was involved in major gift fundraising at both Hopkins School, an independent secondary school in New Haven, CT as well as at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT. She also served as the Executive Director at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven from 2000-2006 and was involved in overseeing a comprehensive cultural plan to revitalize the city of New Haven and its surrounding communities through investment in the arts. She is a co-founder and board member of the Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists, a fund that provides grants for artists living in the Greater New Haven community.

Betty and her husband David live in North Haven, CT. They have three grown children.