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Jan 23, 2018

We are thrilled to announce A.C.T.’s next Artistic Director, Pam MacKinnon. Tony Award and Drama Desk Award winner MacKinnon is no stranger to the Bay Area, having directed Victor Lodato’s 3F, 4F at Magic Theatre in 2005 and Amélie, A New Musical at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2015.

MacKinnon grew up in Toronto, Canada as well as just outside Buffalo, New York. She majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and UC San Diego, and briefly pursued a Ph.D. in political science, before turning to her other passion: theater.

Since then, MacKinnon has become one of American theater’s most beloved directors, a supporter of new American playwrights, and a leading interpreter of playwright Edward Albee’s work. She is an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project Theater, and Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Labs. She is also Executive Board President of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC).

MacKinnon has directed multiple plays on Broadway, including Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, Carrie Coon, and Madison Dirks. MacKinnon won a Tony Award for her direction, and the play received the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Other Broadway productions include Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (Obie Award for Excellence in Directing); Amélie, A New Musical; the world premiere of David Mamet’s China Doll with Al Pacino; Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles with Elizabeth Moss; and Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance with Glenn Close and John Lithgow.

MacKinnon has also directed extensively off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Roundabout Theatre Company, as well as around the country at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, San Diego’s Old Globe, and Washington, DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

“Pam is not only a great theater director,” says Pulitzer Prize–winning actor-playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), “she has burning curiosity and boundless passion. She’s also a lot of fun. All of the above I consider qualities necessary to run a theater. I can’t wait to see what she does with A.C.T.”

“I am so thrilled for Pam,” says Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo (Amélie, A New Musical; Hamilton). “The A.C.T. community has gained an incredible leader with outstanding qualifications—great intelligence, skill, and influence, with a heart to match.”

“New York’s loss,” says Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman, who is currently performing in MacKinnon’s production of The Parisian Woman on Broadway. “Pure gold, Pam MacKinnon, to whom I am forever grateful. Congratulations, San Francisco!”

“I am thrilled and honored to be named artistic director of American Conservatory Theater,” says MacKinnon. “I am eager to build on the company’s rich legacy of artistic excellence and expand the vision and achievements of Carey Perloff, Edward Hastings, and founder William Ball to ensure that A.C.T. remains at the forefront of American theater. I look forward to furthering A.C.T. as a creative home for world-class artists and a place of rigorous artistic exploration and commitment in the Bay Area.”