Via letters, Henrietta Leavitt (Ginny Holladay) speaks with her sister Margaret (Emma Jane Garcia) about family and personal obligations in the late 2019 Olympic Theatre Arts production of “Silent Sky.” Holladay was recently named OTA’s executive director. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Via letters, Henrietta Leavitt (Ginny Holladay) speaks with her sister Margaret (Emma Jane Garcia) about family and personal obligations in the late 2019 Olympic Theatre Arts production of “Silent Sky.” Holladay was recently named OTA’s executive director. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Olympic Theatre Arts picks new executive director

SEQUIM — Olympic Theatre Arts is getting a change of leadership after executive director Carol Willis stepped down recently with health issues.

Ginny Holladay will leave her position as communications director for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce to lead the nonprofit theater organization; her first day was Jan. 4.

Willis said she was diagnosed with a treatable form of pancreatic cancer just before Thanksgiving.

“The past two months have been a very scary roller coaster ride for me,” Willis said in an OTA press release.

“After seeking a second opinion and a second-second opinion we have come to realize that I am lucky enough to be within the 2 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer to have contracted the type that is very treatable — ‘the one that Steve Jobs had,’ as one of the radiologists put it.”

Holladay is no stranger to the stage; on her first audition for an on-stage part at OTA, she landed the lead role as Henrietta Leavitt in “Silent Sky.”

“She blew me away,” director Josh Sutcliffe said upon casting Holladay.

“I believe that she will do the same in her new position leading this amazing, vibrant organization,” Willis said.

Holladay advanced from an administrative assistant role at the chamber to communications director by focusing on strengthening the chamber’s brand and communications efforts, emceeing bi-weekly chamber luncheons as well as developing relationships within the community since moving to Sequim in 2018.

“OTA was the first place I looked to for community and friendship when I moved to Sequim, because that is what theatre, especially community theatre, creates,” Holladay said. It offers a place to be, people to be with, and something extremely important in which to take part.

“The fact that I have been given an opportunity to spend my time in this place, with these people, taking part in this important work — it is a privilege.”

For more about Olympic Theatre Arts, see www.olympictheatrearts.org.

Executive Director Carol Willis, center left, cuts the ribbon for Olympic Theatre Arts’ new sign Feb. 1, 2020, as part of an open house with theatre supporters and members of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce. Willis stepped down from her OTA role recently with health issues.

Executive Director Carol Willis, center left, cuts the ribbon for Olympic Theatre Arts’ new sign Feb. 1, 2020, as part of an open house with theatre supporters and members of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce. Willis stepped down from her OTA role recently with health issues.

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