Getting Personal with Pam MacKinnon and Seascape

By A.C.T. Publications Staff

Sweat was political,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon, “Men on Boats was playful, now we’re going personal with Seascape.” As MacKinnon prepared for her Geary debut, she spoke with cast, creatives, producers, and A.C.T. staff about Edward Albee's Seascape and was both optimistic and reflective.

Sarah Nina Hayon, Seann Gallagher, Ellen MacLaughlin, and James
Carpenter—the cast of Edward Albee's Seascape, directed by Pam MacKinnon.

“The Albee project is very dear to me,” said MacKinnon. The director was a thirtysomething theater-maker in New York when she first spoke with Albee about directing The Play About the Baby at Philadelphia Theatre Company. That production in 2002 was the first of many—Seascape will be her 11th production of an Albee play.

MacKinnon has become the foremost contemporary interpreter of the great American playwright’s work, winning a Tony Award for her direction of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway in 2013. Amid the excitement about Seascape, there was also a note of wistfulness in recalling her 20-year collaboration with Albee. “The last time I did this [when she directed the Broadway revival of Albee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Delicate Balance], he was alive.”

As the actors move from the rehearsal room to The Geary, MacKinnon is clearly relishing the complications and the innate theatricality of Albee’s work and promises a picnic basketful of surprises for A.C.T. audiences.

To learn more about this Pulitzer Prize–winning comedy (Jan 23–Feb 17) or to buy tickets, visit act-sf.org/seascape.

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