Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Justin Emeka & Malic Maat to Join Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Team


Justin Emeka will join Pittsburgh Public Theater as the organization’s first Resident Director. Malic Maat will serve as The Public's 2020-2021 Arts Leadership Fellow.

Justin Emeka & Malic Maat to Join Pittsburgh Public Theater Artistic Team

Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski and Managing Director Lou Castelli, along with Pittsburgh Public Theater's Board of Trustees, are committed to using the current pause in in-person programming in the wake of Covid-19 as an opportunity to imagine and secure a bright artistic future for the organization. As part of this commitment, The Public welcomes Justin Emeka and Malic Maat in two new collaborative roles.

Renowned theater artist Justin Emeka will join Pittsburgh Public Theater as the organization's first Resident Director. Formerly an Associate Artist with the company, this appointment acknowledges Mr. Emeka's ongoing collaborations and powerful contributions over the last several seasons, and expands the theater's artistic team to more fully pursue the organization's vision of serving as a true public theater for the region. In addition to directing regularly for the organization, Mr. Emeka will participate in season planning and new artistic and racial justice initiatives. He will lend his expertise as a director, playwright, and educator to expand and elevate The Public's mission to create exceptional theatrical works for Pittsburgh audiences, while working to advance the company's commitment to eradicate racism and to authentically build a more diverse community of staff, artists, and audiences.

"In addition to being a remarkable director with a vivid theatrical imagination, Justin is a powerful thinker and leader," said Ms. Kaminski. "He has a great vision for the future of the American Theater and inspiring ideas for how Pittsburgh Public Theater can activate the dramatic canon in new and innovative ways to celebrate the experiences of communities of color and amplify the voices of young artists. As a guest director, Justin has already made a deep impact on our productions and conversations, and I look forward to the profound work we will be capable of as he makes Pittsburgh Public his artistic home."

Mr. Emeka stated, "I am excited to join Pittsburgh Public Theater at this critical moment in American history - to use theater as a tool to build national unity; and to help make a home for more Black and Brown audiences and artists. In my role as Resident Director, I look forward to nurturing work by contemporary voices as well as revealing diverse approaches to "classic" texts. Because of Pittsburgh's rich legacy, I am particularly interested in exploring unique approaches to August Wilson's classic works as a way for the world to celebrate the complexities of African-American culture."

Simultaneously, Pittsburgh Public Theater is launching a new Arts Leadership Fellowship to open opportunities for observation, transparency, and mutual learning for potential arts leaders who may not see a traditional path into the field of non-profit, regional theater. Malic Maat will serve as The Public's 2020-2021 Arts Leadership Fellow and, in addition to working closing with executive leadership, Mr. Maat will observe operations across the organization's business and artistic functions. As Pittsburgh Public Theater's inaugural fellow, Mr. Maat's capstone project will be the creation of a protocol and handbook which will formalize this new pipeline program and ensure the fellowship will be valuable and sustainable for future fellows.

"We are fortunate that Justin has agreed to further expand his relationship with Pittsburgh Public Theater. Justin first engaged our audiences last season with his powerful imagining of Lynn Nottage's 2018 prize-winning play, Sweat. This spring, those fortunate enough to have seen Justin's staging of American Son before the pandemic shuttered performances witnessed Justin's ability to stage complex and emotional dramas that move audiences long after they have left the theater. We announced in mid-March that Justin would join us in our 46th season as one of the organization's inaugural Associate Artists, to direct August Wilson's Two Trains Running, and we are grateful that the continued support of our funders and donors now allow us to have Justin join us as Resident Director." said Pittsburgh Public Theater Board Chair, Courtney Horrigan. "Malic is also well-known to our audiences and staff, and we are delighted to work with him in his new role as Arts Leadership Fellow. Malic charmed patrons with his scene-stealing turn as Lieutenant Howard in last season's production of A Few Good Men, and is already a member of the Pittsburgh Public Theater family, having worked in our box office and as the Public PlayTime Summer Dramaturg."

Justin Emeka is a director, writer, actor, and teacher who specializes in new approaches to "classic" texts, as well as imaginative stagings of contemporary playwrights. Off-Broadway credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet at Classical Theatre of Harlem. Regional theater productions include: American Son and Sweat at Pittsburgh Public Theater; Sweat at Philadelphia Theatre Company; Sunset Baby at Dobama Theatre; Stick Fly at Intiman Theatre in Seattle; Paradise Blue, Detroit '67 and Julius X at Karamu House; A Raisin in the Sun at the Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival. At Juilliard, he directed A Doll's House, Part 2. At NYU, he adapted Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme into The Boougie Gentleman. At Oberlin College, he directed Death of a Salesman starring Avery Brooks; Dominique Morisseau's Follow Me To Nellie's; Lydia Diamond's The Bluest Eye; Shakespeare's Macbeth; and Alice Childress's Wedding Band. At the University of Washington's Ethnic Cultural Theatre he directed Amiri Baraka's Dutchman and Aishah Rahman's Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Guilded Cage. At Yale Repertory Theater, he served as the movement coordinator and played the role of Edgar in an all-Black production of King Lear starring Avery Brooks. As a writer, he recently published an essay "Seeing Shakespeare through Brown Eyes" in the Amazon best-selling book Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches and "Playing with Race in the New Millennium" in the book Casting a Movement. Mr. Emeka received his MFA in directing from the University of Washington and is a Drama League Fellow. Currently, he is a tenured professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Oberlin College.

Malic Maat is a Pittsburgh based, multi-disciplinary artist. A native of Aliquippa, PA and graduate of Slippery Rock University's (SRU) theatre-acting program, Malic has worked with many theaters, institutions, and organizations in Western Pennsylvania. With Pittsburgh Public Theater, Malic appeared in last fall's production of A Few Good Men, has served as a Box-office Assistant, and was the Artistic and Community Dramaturg for the The Public's Summer PlayTime Series; and is currently serving alongside Lou, Marya, and other members of the Pittsburgh Public Theater staff and Board of Trustees on the newly inaugurated Racial Justice Task Force. Malic has also served as a Teaching Artist with City Theatre, a director and cultural-coordinator for SRU's Department of Theatre, and has several performance credits in the Pittsburgh area including two seasons of City Theatre's annual Young Playwrights Festival, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings with Prime Stage Theater, Dreamgirls with Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, Yankee Tavern and Cloud 9 with Throughline Theatre, as well as nominated performances at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the world premiere of Electra: An American Gothic performed internationally at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. Malic is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, is represented by Docherty Talent Agency, and currently serves as a Producer and casting-coordinator with Redwood Media Group, a black-owned, Pittsburgh based Media company set to release a very special film project next Fall. As an artist and activist, Malic values truth, humanitarianism, community collaboration, representation and inclusion in the arts. In this new role, Malic looks forward to co-constructing a Pittsburgh arts community that fosters social justice, engages systemic change, and that elevates and celebrates Black, Queer, and underrepresented voices.

Related Articles View More Pittsburgh Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You