Matt August is a theatre director specializing in new plays and musicals, Shakespeare, comedies and holiday classics.
Matt has enjoyed directing and developing work on Broadway, at theatres all over the country, for LORT, non-profit and commercial producers. He was recently a finalist for the 2016 TCG Alan Schneider Directing Award for mid-career directors. His productions have been: recognized with nominations and awards from the Ovation, Helen Hayes, Mac, Bay Area Critics, Broadway World, and Australia’s Helpmann Awards. They have been showcased at The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Wendy Williams Show and even performed at The White House. They have appeared on Year End Top-Ten lists for the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Arizona Republic, Oakland Tribune, Tuscon Sun, San Jose Mercury News and NPR/KQED.
Matt has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Old Globe Theatre, Drama League, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Acting Company, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, the Juilliard School, San Francisco’s Zen Center as well as directing and assisting at many other regional theatres.
He is a protégé of theatre director Jack O’Brien, working with O’Brien on Broadway for four years (’00-’04). Earlier in August’s career, he worked with many other directors ranging from Gordon Davidson, John Rando and Nicholas Martin to Stephen Wadsworth, Libby Appel and Robert Wilson.
As an active member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, he is currently on the Los Angeles Steering Committee, the LORT Negotiating Committee and the L.A. Intimate Theatre Contract Negotiating Team.
August has mentored several upcoming directors through the Drama League and SDC Foundation, guest taught/lectured at universities and colleges throughout the country and served on the Drama League Directing Fellowship selection committees and SDC Board Nominating committees. He also sits on the Artistic Advisory Board for the Independent Shakespeare Company in Los Angeles.
In addition to theatre he was awarded the Panavision New Filmmakers Grant and directed the short family film “How to Get to Candybar” which has played at festivals around the world and twice been awarded “Best Comedy Short.”
August holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City.
The New York Times’s Neil Genzlingler said August’s Broadway production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is “100 times better than any bedtime story.” and Phoebe Hoban called August’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona “a rollicking good time.”
Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called Mr. August’s production of Two Gentleman of Verona at the Old Globe “inexhaustibly inventive” and “effervescent.” It was subsequently on the Los Angeles Times’ “Year’s End Top-Ten List.”
Regarding King Charles III, TheArizona Republic said “the keen direction of Matt August is deft and engaging, highlighting the past-within-the-present themes and eliciting engaging performances that bridge the centuries.”
The Tucson Daily Star said “Matt August directs [King Charles III] with wit and a sense of urgency. [He] makes it impossible not to care about these people, or the very real human emotions and important ideas this play shines a light on.”
The Salt Lake Tribune said “Two Dollar Bill’s” clash of conflicting ideas and Matt August’s taut direction often give it the tension of a thriller.”
Variety praised his Geffen Theatre production of Discord with “in such assured hands as helmer Matt August’s, [itis] catnip for regional-theater subscribers yearning for a little food for thought with their fun.”
The Los Angeles Times said Discord was “funny and thought provoking” and “finely tuned, with superb performances.” The Examiner described it as “a philosophical marvel under August’s direction.”
Utah’s Deseret News said his production of In the Heights “Sizzles…[It] is not to be missed.” and later that August has made Shakespeare cool” about Much Ado About Nothing.
The San Francisco Chronicle described his work as “hilarious and moving…imaginatively staged” (Fourth Messenger) and “captivating and inventively eclectic” (Baby Taj).
Variety also said that August’s “fun quotient is sky high” (Time Flies) and that his work is “a Loony Toons extravaganza” of “good fun!” (Pig Farm);
The Hartford Courant called August’s professional debut, Sixteen Wounded staring Oscar-winner Martin Landau, “an incendiary world premier production.”
The New York Times’s Alvin Klein said “Some plays have the power to provoke. Sixteen Wounded, at the Long Wharf Theater, may well stun you into silence.”
But his favorite review is from The Chicago Tribune, who praised August’s production of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre as being “as different from everything else that I’ve seen as the ‘Starship Enterprise’ is from the airplanes at O’Hare.”