ACT – A Contemporary Theatre's leadership, Executive Director Carlo Scandiuzzi and Artistic Director Kurt Beattie, have announced a new position, hiring critically acclaimed director John Langs as the new Associate Artistic Director. Langs has garnered a reputation as a determined and innovative freelance artist, who since 2004 has established an ongoing relationship with Seattle's theatre community. He recently directed The Dumb Waiter and Celebration for ACT's Pinter Festival and will direct this holiday season's annual production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Gregory Falls. In January 2013, he will begin his full-time staff post and also direct Chekhov's The Seagull for ACT's Central Heating Lab, followed by the mainstage offering of Will Eno's Middletown in the fall. Langs' production of Antony and Cleopatra with Seattle Shakespeare Company opens this Friday.
As Associate Artistic Director, Langs will support Beattie in the planning and execution of ACT's artistic mission and vision, including:
· Direct one mainstage show a year
· Direct workshops of new plays
· Assist in new play development
· Curate Central Heating Lab projects
· Manage projects in development through ACT's Affiliate Artist Working Group
· Provide support for the education department, including teaching and classroom participation
· Serve as an ambassador for ACT, continuing the path of transforming the organization
The connection between Beattie and Langs began in 2004 with Seattle Shakespeare Company's production of King Lear, with Langs directing Beattie in the title role. Since then, Beattie has followed Langs' directing career and admired his work with New Century Theatre Company, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and many other local theatres. In speaking of Langs, Beattie says, "His passion and drive for theatre is undeniable and contagious. Something I'm looking forward to is that John and I are very different in our approach to communicating through theatre. I think that by combining our strengths and learning from each other, we'll be in a strong place to move ACT forward artistically."
In his new position, Langs will be encouraged to continue working with outside organizations. He comments, "This is a great opportunity for me to come to Seattle to be a part of this thriving, cultural city. I'm honored to be working for ACT and to be the right hand for one of my longtime mentors." John Langs and his wife, actress KLea Scott, and their son will soon be relocating to Seattle from California.
Langs, 40, has received critical acclaim for his recent productions of The Adding Machine with New Century Theatre (Gregory Award Winner for Excellence in Direction) and his unique and inspired direction of Seattle Shakespeare Company's productions of Hamlet and King Lear. A graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Langs has directed all over the United States with some notable productions including The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and nominated for New York's Lucille Lortel Awards for excellence off Broadway), The Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Direction) and Battle Hymn with Circle x Theatre (nominated for 7 LA weekly awards including "Best production"). He especially enjoys shepherding new works from workshop to mainstage and has had great success working with local playwrights like Paul Mullin and Stephanie Timm to name a few. Langs also recently directed the musical Bad Apples (about the abuses at Abu Ghraib) currently running at the Atwater Village Theatre in L.A., which the Huffington Post called "A play that every adult in America should see."