MILL VALLEY, CALIF.: Marin Theatre Company (MTC) has announced that Nakissa Etemad has been appointed the company’s first associate artistic director. Etemad will share producing, season programming, artist hiring, new play development initiatives, and oversight of the company’s education programs responsibilities with artistic director Jasson Minadakis. She will also contribute to the rebuilding of MTC with new leadership models and a focus on collaboration.
“I am honored to welcome Nakissa Etemad to the MTC family,” said Minadakis in a statement. “Her vision, passion, artistry, and advocacy will elevate our company’s driving focus to support the American playwright from conception through production. I am eager to partner with Nakissa and to travel the new paths that she charts for us through her unique voice and stewardship. Nakissa joins us at a pivotal moment as we re-envision our company, our community, and our art form. Her impact on our organization, region, and national theatre community will undoubtedly be felt immediately.”
Etemad’s experience includes leading the literary departments of San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, where she supported productions that opened up conversations around race, gender, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, Etemad has cultivated premieres from playwrights such as Luis Valdez, Culture Clash, Octavio Solis, Lynn Nottage, Naomi Iizuka, Polly Pen, Tom Stoppard, Dael Orlandersmith, Arthur Miller, Charles L. Mee, and Chay Yew. Her work has taken her to Berkeley’s Shotgun Players, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater, and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Etemad also collaborated with Margo Hall on Be Bop Baby: A Musical Memoir at Z Space in San Francisco.
“Marin Theatre Company could not be getting a better gift than Nakissa Etemad,” said Hall, artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, in a statement. “An artist whose integrity and passion will help the company forge ahead as we face new challenges in ways of making theatre. I am thrilled that so many other artists will have the pleasure of working with her as I have.”
Etemad is an Iranian American Dramaturg, Producer, and French Translator who has specialized in new BIPOC plays and musicals for over 25 years. She is Regional VP Metro Bay Area for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), a resident artist of Golden Thread Productions, and a member of the Anti-Racism Task Force of LMDA. She has worked across the country on a host of premiere productions at theatres including Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Perseverance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, and La Jolla Playhouse, and on numerous new play festivals and initiatives such as the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit, Play On! Shakespeare of OSF, Bay Area Playwrights Festivals, Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Reading Series, the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, and O’Neill Music Theater Conference. Former dramaturg and literary manager of the Wilma Theater, San Jose Rep, and San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Festival Director for the 5th Annual New America Playwrights Fest (San Jose Rep). Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy 2015. M.F.A. in Dramaturgy, UC San Diego.
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