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).
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…
During my second year here in the M.F.A. program at A.C.T., a new email popped into my inbox. “Dear all,” the email began. “We have the incredible privilege of doing some developmental work on Hamlet in preparation for our opening show of the 2017–18 season at The Geary. This Hamlet will star John Douglas Thompson.” Um, what?! I had seen John in four plays in New York, and witnessed his tour-de-force performance in Satchmo at the Waldorf here at A.C.T. during my first year in the program. The fact that my classmates and I would be workshopping my favorite play with him seemed too surreal to be true.
On the first day of the workshop, I entered Studio 9A and there John was! We all got to work, reading and discussing different scenes throughout the play. When we arrived at the famously tricky “nunnery scene,” Carey scanned the room, her gaze finally landing on me.
“Rivka, why don’t you read for Ophelia in this scene with John,” she said.
John looked at me and simply said …