Geri Wright joined ATC in January 2020 and has been Executive Director of the company through its most challenging time ever. While the COVID shutdown posed many challenges, it afforded the opportunity to reimagine the 55-year-old organization’s structure from top to bottom to ensure sustainability into the future.
Geri brings more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership, management and fundraising experience to ATC, including as CEO at Act One, where she more than doubled the organization’s impact. She also served as Chief Development Officer at the American Red Cross for four years and Director of Development at the Heard Museum for more than 11 years.
Her love of theatre started at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on a school field trip and has grown into a passion for the arts today. Throughout her career, she has been a passionate advocate for the importance that the arts play in creating healthy and prosperous communities.
She was recently recognized as a Titan 100 Phoenix CEO and was named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2019 Outstanding Women in Business. She also has been honored with an assortment of acknowledgments for her work in the charitable community.
Geri and her family, along with two horses and an Australian cattle dog, reside at the base of the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale.
Matt August is the Kasser Family Artistic Director. He is a theatre, opera, and film director and educator whose productions have broken box-office records on Broadway (Grinch) and played in London, across the UK, Off-Broadway, in major Regional theatres, at festivals, on National Tours, at the Grand Ole Opry, and for three holiday seasons at Madison Square Garden. His work has been featured on television talk shows and NPR and performed at the White House for President Bush, Cabinet Members, and military children.
He was the Associate Director to multi-Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien on the Broadway productions of Henry IV, The Full Monty, The Invention of Love, and Imaginary Friends. He was promoted to Resident Director on Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, for which both lead actors received Tony Awards, and on the Tony-winning Henry IV (Best Director and Best Revival). He also directed the Australia production of The Full Monty, earning a Helpmann Award co-nomination for Best Direction. He has directed World, American, and Regional Premieres including the record-breaking productions of Sixteen Wounded at the Cherry Lane and Long Wharf Theatres (starring Martin Landau), In the Heights (starring Anthony Ramos in his AEA debut), and King Charles III and The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord for Arizona Theatre Company.
His productions have been recognized with nominations and awards from LA’s Ovation, Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes, Arizona’s Mac, San Francisco’s Bay Area Critics, Broadway World, Utah’s Audience Choice, and Australia’s Helpmann Awards. His work has appeared on Year End Top Ten lists for the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Arizona Republic, Oakland Tribune, Arizona Daily Star, San Jose Mercury News, and NPR/KQED. He has been awarded internships, fellowships, and residencies from the Old Globe Theatre, Drama League, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Acting Company, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, the Juilliard School, The Wrestling School, and San Francisco’s Zen Center. In addition to theatre, he was awarded the Panavision New Filmmakers Grant and directed the award-winning short family film How to Get to Candybar.
In 2006 and 2007, August directed the Broadway productions of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical, which broke box office records and has been touring every year since 2008, including a UK production in 2019. His production of A Christmas Carol ran for five years at Ford’s Theatre, and his Shakespeare productions include Much Ado About Nothing (Pioneer), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Old Globe and Acting Company), Tempest (Hanger), Romeo and Juliet (National Shakespeare Company), and Merry Wives of Windsor (Acting Company). He recently directed the opera La Boheme (starring Marina Costa Jackson) and Pirates of Penzance at Noorda Center.
He actively serves the Society of Directors and Choreographers on panels and committees, and he mentors emerging directors through both the SDCF and Drama League as well have having taught directing as an Assistant Professor at Utah Valley University. More info at MattAugust.com