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Pam MacKinnon

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Pam MacKinnon
Born (1968-01-08) January 8, 1968 (age 56)
EducationUniversity of Toronto (BA)
University of California, San Diego
OccupationTheatre director

Pam MacKinnon (born January 9, 1968) is an American theatre director. She has directed for the stage Off-Broadway, on Broadway and in regional theatre. She won the Obie Award for Directing and received a Tony Award nomination, Best Director, for her work on Clybourne Park. In 2013 she received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was named artistic director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California on January 23, 2018.[1]


Early life[edit]

MacKinnon is a native of Chicago and was raised in suburban Buffalo, New York.[2] She majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and enrolled in a political science Ph.D. program at the University of California, San Diego,[3] but left[3] to work with Des McAnuff[2] and Anne Bogart in San Diego.[3] She studied at the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab and the Drama League.[4]


MacKinnon has directed many plays by Edward Albee, including the premiere of his Peter and Jerry at the Second Stage Theatre (2007)[5] (and also at Hartford Stage), and his Occupant (2008) by the Signature Theatre Company.[6] Additional Albee works that she has directed include: A Delicate Balance (2009) at the Arena Stage, Washington, DC,[7] and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas, in 2003.[8] The Houston Chronicle reviewer wrote of MacKinnon's direction of The Goat: "Director Pam MacKinnon negotiates the shifting tone as expertly as Albee has written it."[9] She directed Albee's The Play About the Baby (2002) by the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia[10] and at the Goodman Theatre (2003).[11] The Philadelphia Inquirer reviewer wrote that MacKinnon "...displays an unerring understanding of the play's moods and rhythms."[10]

She directed Clybourne Park at the Off-Broadway Playwrights Horizons in 2010,[12] winning the 2010 Obie Award for Directing.[13] The play won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She directed the Broadway production of Clybourne Park, receiving a nomination for the 2012 Tony Award, Best Direction of a Play.[14] In the Fall of 2011 she directed David Bar Katz's The Atmosphere of Memory, starring Ellen Burstyn and John Glover at The LAByrinth Theater Company.[15]

In regional theatre she directed Death of a Salesman at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, which ran from January 22, 2011, to February 27, 2011.[16] At the South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California, she directed Itamar Moses' Completeness (2011),[17]Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw (2010),[18] and Richard Greenberg's Our Mother's Brief Affair (2009)[19]

MacKinnon directed three plays by Horton Foote under the umbrella title of Harrison, TX: Three Plays by Horton Foote for Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters, New York City, with performances running from July to September 2012.[20]

MacKinnon directed a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago with performances starting in December 2010.[21] She directed the production on Broadway at the Booth Theatre, which ran from September 2012 (previews) to March 3, 2013.[22] MacKinnon won the Tony Award, Best Direction of a Play.[23]

She directed the 2014 Broadway revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance starring Glenn Close, John Lithgow and Martha Plimpton. The show ran from October 2014 (previews) to February 22, 2015, at the John Golden Theatre.[24]

MacKinnon directed the world premiere of Amélie, a new musical based on the 2001 film, which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2015. The book is by Craig Lucas, Daniel Messé (of Hem) wrote the music and Messé and Nathan Tysen wrote the lyrics. The musical opened on Broadway in March 2017 in previews, and closed on May 21, 2017.[25][26] Subsequently, she directed the Broadway production of the new play The Parisian Woman by Beau Willimon, starring Uma Thurman, Josh Lucas, Blair Brown and Phillipa Soo.[27] The play opened November 30, 2017 and closed on March 11, 2018.

She is chairwoman of the executive board of Clubbed Thumb, which "commissions, develops, and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers."[28] She became the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco) effective July 2018.[29] Her first work as director at ACT was Seascape in January 2019. The reviewer for The San Francisco Examiner wrote: "...new artistic director Pam MacKinnon is to Edward Albee, and her affinity for (and previous professional relationship with) the late American playwright is evident in his Pulitzer Prize winner 'Seascape,' her first directorial venture in her new post... In the hands of MacKinnon and the cast, it's all hilarious and often poignant."[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Source: Playbillvault[31]

  • 2010, 2012 Clybourne Park - Obie Award (Winner), Lucille Lortel Award (nominee) and Tony Award (nominee)
  • 2013 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Tony Award (Winner) and Drama Desk Award (Winner); Outer Critics Circle (nominee)


  1. ^ "Tony, OBIE, and Drama Desk Award Winner Pam Mackinnon Named New Artistic Director At American Conservatory Theater" broadwayworld.com, January 23, 2018
  2. ^ a b Weinert-Kendt, Rob.Collaborating With the Cast and Playwright" The New York Times, May 10, 2012
  3. ^ a b c Kennedy, Mark."Director Pam MacKinnon Scales the Broadway Heights" boston.com, April 13, 2012
  4. ^ "Biography" Archived 2012-06-02 at the Wayback Machine clybournepark.com, accessed June 14, 2012
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review. Who’s Afraid of the Menace Within? Not Edward Albee" The New York Times, November 12, 2007
  6. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review. Resurrecting an Artist’s Greatest Creation: Herself" The New York Times, June 6, 2008
  7. ^ Marks, Peter." 'A Delicate Balance' at Arena Stage" The Washington Post, February 16, 2009
  8. ^ "' The Goat or Who is Sylvia?' Listing, Alley Theatre" AlleyTheatre.org, accessed June 14, 2012
  9. ^ Staff. "Alley stages a remarkably human 'Goat'", The Houston Chronicle, January 24, 2003, p.1
  10. ^ a b Keating, Douglas J. (Inquirer Theatre Critic). "Disturbing comedy by Albee", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 25, 2002, Section:MAGAZINE
  11. ^ Phillips, Michael."Albee's 'Baby' reborn with Goodman casting" Chicago Tribune, October 3, 2003
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review, Good Defenses Make Good Neighbors"The New York Times, February 22, 2012
  13. ^ Cox, Gordon."Annie Baker wins big at Obie Awards" Variety, May 17, 2010
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'Once', 'Clybourne Park', 'Porgy and Bess', Audra McDonald, 'Salesman' Win Tony Awards" Archived 2012-12-10 at archive.today Playbill.com, June 10, 2012
  15. ^ "'Memory' worth holding onto". 31 October 2011.
  16. ^ "'Death of a Salesman' Listing" Archived 2010-09-29 at the Wayback Machine OldGlobe.org, accessed June 14, 2012
  17. ^ "Program, 'Completeness', South Coast Repertory" South Coast Repertory, accessed June 14, 2012
  18. ^ "Program, 'Becky Shaw', South Coast Repertory" South Coast Repertory, accessed June 14, 2012
  19. ^ "Program, 'Our Mother's Brief Affair', South Coast Repertory" South Coast Repertory, accessed June 14, 2012
  20. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "Pam MacKinnon to Direct Trio of Horton Foote Plays as Part of Primary Stages' 2012-2013 Season" theatermania.com, February 3, 2012
  21. ^ Isherwood, Charles."Theater Review. Watch It, Martha: This George Is a Stealth Bomb" The New York Times, December 12, 2010
  22. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Ends Broadway Run March 3" Archived 2013-06-05 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, March 3, 2013
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew. Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations" Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, April 30, 2013
  24. ^ "The Verdict: The Critics Review 'A Delicate Balance' on Broadway Featuring Glenn Close, John Lithgow and Martha Plimpton" Playbill, November 20, 2014
  25. ^ Viagas, Robert. " 'Amélie' Musical Books Broadway Dates and Theatre" Playbill, November 16, 2016
  26. ^ McPhee, Ryan. " 'Amélie', Starring Phillipa Soo, Sets Broadway Closing Date" Playbill, May 4, 2017
  27. ^ The Parisian Woman broadway.com, retrieved October 28, 2017
  28. ^ "Executive Board, Clubbed Thumb" clubbedthumb.org, accessed June 14, 2012
  29. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Pam MacKinnon Named Artistic Director of A.C.T." Playbill, January 24, 2018
  30. ^ Schiffman, Jean. "MacKinnon kicks off ACT tenure with Albee’s striking 'Seascape'" The San Francisco Examiner, February 1, 2019
  31. ^ "MacKinnon Listing" playbillvault.com, accessed March 21, 2015

External links[edit]