Mark Jackson Named Director of Studio A.C.T. at American Conservatory Theater

Mark Jackson Named Director of Studio A.C.T. at American Conservatory Theater

Today, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Conservatory Director Melissa Smith announced the appointment of Mark Jackson as the company's new Studio A.C.T. Director.

A familiar face in the Bay Area theater community for over two decades, Jackson succeeds former resident company member Nick Gabriel, who recently departed from A.C.T.

Designed for students 19 years old and up, Studio A.C.T. offers intensive actor training classes for adults of all backgrounds and levels of experience that utilize acting techniques for a variety of classes from Introduction to Acting and Voice Building to Musical Theater Performance and Audition Prep. Taught by some of the finest professional artists in the industry, Studio A.C.T. features 8-week training classes during the fall, winter, and spring and 4-week training classes during the summer. Studio A.C.T. classes are scheduled for nights and weekends to accommodate work and home commitments and feature limited class sizes (14 students) to ensure personal attention from the instructors.

As Studio A.C.T. Director, Jackson will be responsible for advancing A.C.T.'s institutional standards of excellence through imaginative and creative programming and curriculum. In addition, Jackson's goal is to develop and execute strategies that will elevate the profile of Studio A.C.T. regionally and expand the program to incorporate local, national, and international theater artists.

Enrollment for Studio A.C.T.'s winter session 2018 (January 8-March 4, 2018) is available now by visiting, calling 415.439.2441, or emailing New courses include Shakespeare in Action, taught by Jackson, Fighting Words: Scene Study and Theatrical Combat, Contemporary Broadway, and Advanced Scene Study: British Bad Boys. For a complete list of winter session 2018 courses, visit Students who register by December 10, 2017 will receive 10% off winter session 2018 classes with code WINTER10.

Says Jackson: "In addition to directing productions for the M.F.A. Program, I've taught in all the A.C.T. Conservatory programs at one time or another, so I'm very excited by this opportunity to explore how Studio A.C.T. might become even more integrated into A.C.T. as a whole, as well as into the local arts scene."

Adds Smith, "Mark Jackson is an award-winning playwright and director, an experienced actor, and a wonderful teacher. We are thrilled to have him come on board as the Director of Studio A.C.T. and believe his years of artistic and educational experience, along with his many relationships in the Bay Area arts community and beyond, will elevate the visibility and reputation of the program."

Mark Jackson was artistic director of Art Street Theatre in San Francisco from 1995 to 2004, during which time he wrote, directed, and performed in numerous productions for the company. Jackson's work in theater, dance, and performance has also been seen in the Bay Area at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre Company, Encore Theatre Company, EXIT Theatre, Potrzebie Dance Project, San Francisco International Arts Festival, San Francisco State University, Shotgun Players, and Z Space, among others; nationally at The Studio Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Hunger & Thirst (NYC), and The Catamounts (Denver); as well as internationally at Arts International Festival IV (Japan), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (UK), Bread & Roses Theatre (UK), and Deutsches Theater Berlin (Germany).

His plays have been developed at A.C.T., Capital Stage, Cutting Ball Theater, English Theatre Berlin (Germany), EXIT Theatre, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, and Z Space. EXIT Press has published two collections of Mark's plays, Three Plays and Ten Plays, as well as his play Little Erik and his book Playing Hamlet Roulette: Failure, Expectation, Possibility & Democracy.

Jackson has been a resident playwright of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, where he was awarded the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Honorary Fellowship. He is a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which has supported three extended artist residencies in Berlin between 2004 and 2013 for projects undertaken at Mime Centrum, Deutsches Theater, and English Theatre Berlin. Other awards and honors include the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, a Magic Theatre/Z Space New Works Initiative commission, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award. Jackson's writing has benefited numerous times from the generosity of the Tournesol Project, a granting program for the development of new work.

He has been a company member of Shotgun Players since 2010. Jackson is a graduate of the San Francisco State University Theatre Arts Department, and has since taught there, in every conservatory program at A.C.T., as well as the Berkeley Repertory School of Theater, California Institute of Integral Studies, Mime Centrum Berlin (Germany), University of San Francisco, and Universität der Künste Berlin (Germany), among other schools and theaters.

For additional information on Studio A.C.T., visit For more about Mark Jackson, visit:

Photo Credit: Pak Han

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