Matt August’s Vision to Build on ATC’s Legacy
It’s been 8 months since Matt August took over as the Kasser Family Artistic Director, and yet his passion and drive heading into his inaugural season has anything but slowed. His love for Arizona Theatre Company and its continued legacy of bringing about meaningful work is the perfect home for his ambition to accomplish the same work.
When we released the lineup for our 56th season, August explained that his programming would allow ATC to,
“…produce and create a season filled with shows that are Tony Award-Winners and Pulitzer Prize finalists… allowing us to bring top-shelf artists, powerful performances, and inspiring stories to our stages. In short, this season consists of five of the best American plays of the last 60 years.”
But it doesn’t stop there. This October, August will join executive director Geri Wright in heading the move into Tempe Center for the Arts. A Broadway style theatre that holds 550 people, all sitting no further than 55 feet from the stage. The move will not only provide a beautiful performance space but has the potential to expand our audience in the fastest growing region in the metropolitan Phoenix area. With this transition, he hopes to honor ATC’s legacy of bringing the power of theatre to all Arizonans. Tucson performances will continue at the Temple of Music and Art.
August also hopes to expand on ATC’s effort to foster new works. He plans to not only continue the National Latine Playwright Award but to magnify the award into a festival. Here, playwrights will be given the space to share their work and the opportunity to be judged by award winning artists in the industry. Finalists will subsequently be given a week to workshop their pieces and a weekend to perform them. In the past, the National Latine Playwright Award was an award decided within the walls of ATC. Now, these playwrights will be given the opportunity to show their works to live audiences. August also intends to use his years of experience to call on colleagues to judge at the festival.
In addition, August has slated time for a musical workshop early next year featuring artists Rupert Holmes and Mark Hollman.
With Matt August as a part of our team, we are continuing to build upon the legacy that is ATC. These exciting changes are only the beginning. As we begin to expand our vision, new ideas and opportunities are inevitable.
Back when August was just a visiting artist, he remarked on how his ideas for design elements were never shot down. His desires were met with each production he directed here. Even challenging, seemingly impossible ideas were made real.
He hopes to tackle this season with that same tenacity. To open the door for limitless creativity. August has said,
“ATC has been around for 56 years and I see us being around for another 56 years, producing in Tempe, the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tucson and beyond. We will be producing six, if not more, shows a year. We will be producing work in three lanes: Big Tent-Pole productions, classics that feel like a six-course meal, and the best new plays from our development pipeline. New play development has always been a part of our history. We’ll have the largest Latine Playwrighting Festival in the country, and we’ll be launching work that will have local, statewide, and national impact. Most importantly, we will be an essential cultural art and entertainment provider for our communities and state. “
Excitement is emanating as we anticipate what’s to come in this new era for Arizona Theatre Company. Follow along as we embark on this journey with Matt August at the helm.