We are thrilled to announce that Jennifer Bielstein will join us as
A.C.T.’s next executive director. Bielstein is currently the managing
director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and president of the
League of Resident Theatres (LORT), an organization that represents 74
“On behalf of the board of trustees, I am delighted to welcome Jennifer Bielstein as A.C.T.’s new executive director,” says A.C.T. Board of Trustees President Kay Yun. “Her passion and dedication to the arts make her one of the most respected and sought-after arts leaders in the country.”
As executive director, Bielstein will work closely with A.C.T.’s incoming artistic director, Pam MacKinnon. “I am thrilled Jennifer will be stepping into A.C.T. with me,” says MacKinnon. “Her knowledge of, commitment to, and passion for theater is unparalleled. I cannot wait!”
Bielstein is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stanford Graduate Sch…
By Taylor Steinbeck Is mankind inherently good or evil? This long-debated question is at the center of Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s dark comedy, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. “In a society plagued by the need to define everything from identity to justice in a binary,” says director David Mendizábal, “it is in the gray area that we will find discovery, change, and progress.” The M.F.A. Program’s third-year actors will be tasked with unpacking this heady idea in their last full-length production as M.F.A. students. To celebrate its opening at The Rueff tonight, we talked to four of the actors—Lily Narbonne (Fabiana Aziza Cunningham), Vincent J. Randazzo (Judge/Caiaphas the Elder), Oliver Shirley (Butch Honeywell/Saint Peter), and Justin Edward Keim (Simon the Zealot/Sigmund Freud/Saint Thomas)—about diving into the gray area and performing as the class of 2018 for the final time. What has your experience been like acting in this play?
Growing up in Arkansas with Vietnamese refugee parents, Qui Nguyen loved hip-hop, action movies, and comic books. So when he began writing plays, he filled them with these passions: martial arts in Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin, superheroes in Men of Steel, and zombies in Alice in Slasherland. Many of these works were written for Nguyen’s Obie Award–winning “geek theater” company, Vampire Cowboys. We caught up with Nguyen to chat about Vietgone, a play that combines his passions with the story of his parents. This is Part One. We’ve read that you joined your high school drama club to meet cute girls, but since then you’ve written 12 plays and cofounded a theater company. What’s kept you in the theater besides the cute girls?
[Laughs] Right now I’m working in TV and film but I still go back to theater because in theater I know my mission. In TV and film I’m more of a workhorse, but in theater my artistry is specific; I know my voice and the context that I bring t…