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Pittsburgh Public Theater Names Justin Emeka Resident Director And Welcomes Malic Maat As First Arts Leadership Fellow


The Public welcomes Justin Emeka and Malic Maat in two new collaborative roles.

Pittsburgh Public Theater Names Justin Emeka Resident Director And Welcomes Malic Maat As First Arts Leadership Fellow 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."

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