Arizona Theatre Company Names Matt August Artistic Director
Distinguished Broadway Director, Educator to Take Helm of ATC’s Artistic Process
Arizona Theatre Company today announced that Matt August has been named the Kasser Family Artistic Director of the 55-year-old professional theatre company. An artistic leader, distinguished director and educator with more than 27 years of theatre experience, August has worked in diverse markets including Broadway, Off-Broadway, and LORT (League of Resident Theatres) and Regional Theatres as well as with national tours, international venues, festivals and higher education.
“We’re delighted to have Matt on board as we continue our legacy and forge ATC’s next chapter,” said ATC Executive Director Geri Wright. “Matt brings a wealth of theatre experience, connections, creativity, and innovative and thoughtful work to ATC.”
A seasoned theatre professional who has directed more than 90 plays, productions and events in the last two decades including several national and international tours, August’s work includes a broad-spectrum, commercial aesthetic that encompasses plays, musicals, contemporary classics, holiday spectacles, new works, theatre for youth, opera and Shakespeare.
He directed the Broadway premiere of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical in 2006 and again in 2007, breaking Broadway box office records. He subsequently directed the show’s national tours from 2010 to 2019 and again in 2021 and 2022, as well as its international UK Tour in 2019. The Grinch played three times at Madison Square Garden, twice at the Grand Ole Opry and at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.
No stranger to ATC, August directed 2016/2017’s King Charles III and 2015/2016’s Discord, which he describes as two of his favorite projects and both of which received rave reviews.
“It’s a new era for Arizona Theatre Company, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Executive Director Geri Wright as we steward ATC toward its unlimited potential,” said August. “As the Official State Theatre of Arizona, we will be producing work that will delight audiences and illuminate imaginations with work that dares to dream who we are, and what we can become together.”
August most recently and throughout the pandemic served as Assistant Professor of Directing at Utah’s largest university – Utah Valley University – an experience that further honed his skills as an artistic leader, mentor and director. He has mentored several upcoming directors through the Drama League Fellowship and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, guest taught/lectured at universities and colleges throughout the country and served on the Drama League Directing Fellowship selection committees and several SDC Board Nominating committees and Steering committees. He also sat on the Artistic Advisory Board for the Independent Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles.
August notes that early in his career he was honored to apprentice under Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien for four years, as well as many other iconic directors and Artistic Directors. He served as Staff Repertory Director for the Acting Company in New York, is a Drama League Fellow, received the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was a finalist for the TCG Alan Schneider Director Award. He is committed to continuing to mentor and nurture new and emerging artistic voices in his new role at ATC.
Today’s announcement comes after a nationwide search by Arizona Theatre Company’s Board of Trustees and leadership, said Char Augenstein, Board of Trustees Chair.
“The Board of Trustees is delighted to bring Matt on as ATC’s next Artistic Director,” Augenstein notes. “His enthusiastic energy and passion for Arizona Theatre Company, its audiences and our communities undoubtedly will serve us well.”
August holds an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and a B.F.A. from the University of Colorado.