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Kurt Beattie To Retire from Helm of Seattle's ACT

After 12 years as artistic director of Seattle’s second biggest LORT theatre, Beattie will hand the reins to director John Langs.

Kurt Beattie
Kurt Beattie

SEATTLE: ACT—A Contemporary Theatre artistic director Kurt Beattie will retire at the end of ACT’s 2015 50th anniversary season. He will be succeeded by ACT associate artistic director John Langs, who has been on staff since 2013.

“My first role at ACT was in 1975 in Greg Falls’ production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” Beattie said in a statement. “I could never have imagined the 40-year journey I would take with this incredible theatre. I have great faith in what the future holds. John is both a sensitive artist and an ambitious producer. He will take bold chances and look for stories that further our community in unique, powerful, and entertaining ways.”

Beattie has served as the head of ACT since 2003; he first joined the theatre in 2001 as associate artistic director. Upon his retirement, Beattie will assume the title of artistic director emeritus and will continue acting and directing in productions at the theatre, as well as overseeing longterm projects.

Under his leadership, ACT has produced 11 world premieres, including works by Yussef El Guindi, Steven Dietz, Elizabeth Heffron and Mike Daisey. In ACT’s 2015 season, Beattie will direct Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Travesties. He is also developing an adaptation of a Japanese epic for ACT.

His successor, Langs, is a longtime Seattle-based director whose out-of-town credits include work at Playwrights Horizons, American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company. This season, Langs will direct The Three SistersMr. Burns, a post-electric play and A Christmas Carol.

Said Langs in a statement: “I look forward to building on the established relationships ACT holds, creating new ones, and engaging in conversation with the tremendous audiences that participate in the exploration of process, performance and ideas.”

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