Today, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein announce the appointment of Meredith McDonough as the Theatre's Associate Artistic Director. McDonough is an award-winning director and has worked with new play production at numerous theatres including TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, where she currently holds the position of Director of New Works (complete biography below). McDonough is expected to start at Actors Theatre on September 1, 2012 and will direct The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez in January 2013 as part of the Brown-Forman Series.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Meredith as a teacher, a mentor and an artist," stated Artistic Director Les Waters, "and I could not be more thrilled for her to be joining Actors Theatre as my colleague. She has invaluable experience in the field of new play – and new musical – development, including her previous work with Actors Theatre and the Humana Festival, where I first met her while directing Big Love in 2000. Meredith brings a breadth of work and knowledge that will help position us for the growth we expect to see in the years to come."
Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein continued, "Meredith is well respected around the country for her work and with her joining Actors Theatre, she will be the perfect addition to our senior leadership team. We are excited to enter our 49th season with her on board and to begin planning for our 50th Anniversary with a complete team of talented and experienced individuals."
"I could not be more thrilled to be returning to Actors Theatre," stated Meredith McDonough, "and to have the opportunity to deepen my longtime collaboration with Les Waters. I started at Actors as a directing intern under Jon Jory, a year which launched my career and shaped the artist who I am today. The chance to go back and help create and foster that work as we move forward is a dream come true. It feels like coming home to me."
Meredith McDonough previously codirected Backstory and Heaven & Hell, as well as numerous short plays including A Bone Close to my Brain and Kuwait in the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she began as a directing intern, and then served as the Associate Director of the Apprentice/Intern Program for two seasons. Most recently, McDonough has been the Director of New Works at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto for the past three seasons, where she directed the world premieres of Laura Schellhardt's Upright Grand and Auctioning the Ainsleys, as well as Now Circa Then, [title of show] and Opus (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards: Best Director and Best Production). Other San Francisco credits include A Steady Rain at Marin Theatre Company and The Lily's Revenge at the Magic Theatre, where she will return in the fall to direct the premiere of Anna Ziegler's An Incident. Regionally, favorites include the premieres of Fair Use (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Eurydice (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Hazard County (Actors Express), and the Washington, D.C. premiere of the musical Summer of '42. In New York City, McDonough has developed work with Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theatre Company, Keen Company, and Ars Nova. She has been the Associate Artistic Director of The Orchard Project, was the New Works Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a Drama League Fellow, an alum of the Women's Project Directors Lab and a Kesselring Award Panelist. McDonough received her B.S. from Northwestern University and her M.F.A. from UCSD, where studied with Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters.