Bay Area Theatre in the Next 10 Years: Hear from the Women who are Going to Make it Happen

  • 01/08/2020
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • The Garret at the Geary Theater, San Francisco
  • 12

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  • Bay Area Theatre in the Next 10 Years: Hear from the Women who are Going to Make it Happen


    Wednesday, January 8, 2020
    6:00 - 8:00 PM
    San Francisco

     Register by December 27

For centuries, women have had a place in the performing arts. But their ability to lead and control those experiences has been limited at best. The Bay Area has been unusual as a home for dual leadership by women, starting back in 1985. IWF NorCal Members Susie Medak of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Jennifer Bielstein of A.C.T. talk with their artistic partners about gender disparities in the theater, about the challenges of running non-profit theaters, and what the future holds for art and culture in a technology obsessed world.   

Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
6:00 pm Dinner (please select your dinner box when you register)
6:45 pm Discussion led by Susie Medak
7:30 pm Questions and comments

Location: The Garret at the Geary Theater, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Cost: $37 per person, includes dinner and wine

Space is limited to 40 IWF NorCal members and guests.

Registration is final, no refunds. Register by December 27, 2019.

Speaker bios

Jennifer Bielstein: joined A.C.T. as Executive Director in September 2018 with more than 25 years of experience in theater management. She serves on the board of Theatre Forward and is president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT)—an organization that represents 75 theaters nationwide—having previously served as LORT’s vice president; chair of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee; secretary; and on multiple union negotiating teams. Prior to relocating to the Bay Area, Jennifer was managing director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis where she was also a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council Board of Directors, the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable, and the Women Presidents’ Organization. Jennifer was also managing director of Actors Theatre of Louisville for 10 seasons. In Louisville, she was a member of IWF, served on the boards of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation, Greater Louisville Inc., and the Arts and Cultural Attractions Council, and also served as a review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In Chicago, Jennifer was the executive director of Writers Theatre; worked for Steppenwolf Theatre Company, About Face Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, and the Lincoln Park Zoo; and served on the board of the League of Chicago Theatres.

Pam MacKinnon: is celebrating her second season as A.C.T.’s fourth artistic director. She is a Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie award–winning director, having directed upwards of 70 productions around the country, off Broadway, and on Broadway. Her Broadway credits include Beau Willimon’s The Parisian Woman (with Uma Thurman), Amélie: A New Musical, David Mamet’s China Doll (with Al Pacino), Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles (with Elisabeth Moss), Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (with Glenn Close and John Lithgow), Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle nomination), and Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (Obie Award, Tony and Lucille Lortel nominations). Her most recent credits include Bruce Norris’s Downstate (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, London's National Theatre), Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone (Roundabout Theatre Company), and Edward Albee’s Seascape (A.C.T.), and the world premiere of Testmatch by Kat Atwell (A.C.T.). She is an artistic associate of the Roundabout Theatre Company, an advisory board member of Clubbed Thumb, and an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Labs. She is also the executive board president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). She grew up in Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, New York, acted through her teens, but majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and briefly pursued a PhD in political science at UC San Diego, before returning to her true passion: theater.

Susie Medak: has served as Berkeley Rep’s managing director since 1990, leading the administration and operations of the Theatre. She has served as president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and treasurer of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), organizations that represent the interests of nonprofit theatres across the nation. Susan chaired panels for the Massachusetts Arts Council and has also served on program panels for Arts Midwest, the Joyce Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Closer to home, Susan serves on the board of the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA). She is the founding chair of the Berkeley Arts in Education Steering Committee for Berkeley Unified School District and the Berkeley Cultural Trust. Susan serves on the faculty of Yale School of Drama and is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Mont Blanc Ladies’ Literary Guild and Trekking Society. She was awarded the 2012 Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal by the Berkeley Community Fund and the 2017 Visionary Leadership Award by TCG. During her time in Berkeley, Susan has been instrumental in the construction of the Roda Theatre, the Nevo Education Center, the renovation of the Peet’s Theatre, and in the acquisition of the Harrison Street campus. She also worked with three consecutive mayors to help create Berkeley’s Downtown Arts District.

Johanna Pfaelzer: Johanna is delighted to join Berkeley Rep, and honored to serve as its fourth artistic director. She recently spent 12 years as the artistic director of New York Stage and Film (NYSAF), a New York City-based organization dedicated to the development of new works for theatre, film, and television. NYSAF is known for providing a rigorous and nurturing environment for writers, directors, and other artists to realize work that has gone on to production at the highest levels of the profession. Notable works that were developed under Johanna’s leadership include the 2016 Tony Award winners Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and The Humans by Stephen Karam, The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, Junk and The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music by Taylor Mac, Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell, The Homecoming Queen by Ngozi Anyanwu, The Great Leap by Lauren Yee, John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer- and Tony-Award-winning DoubtThe Fortress of Solitude by Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses, The Jacksonian by Beth Henley, and Green Day’s American Idiot.


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