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Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and
Co-sponsored by the NYS Writers Institute

Monday, April 18, 2016
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. The Burian Lecture| Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus


Pam MacKinnon, Tony Award-winning theatre director, will deliver the 20th annual Burian Lecture at the University at Albany on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m., MacKinnon will hold an informal seminar, which will also be held in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, these events are funded by the Jarka and Grayce Burian Endowment, and are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany’s Theatre Program.

Pam MacKinnonPam MacKinnon
is one of America’s most acclaimed theatre directors. In 2013, MacKinnon earned both the Tony Award for Best Direction and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 2010, she won an Obie Award, and was nominated for Tony and Lortel Awards, as the director of Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, which received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. She is an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, as well as an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theater Company, executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and board chair of Clubbed Thumb, a New York City downtown theatre company dedicated to new American plays.

MacKinnon is widely hailed as a leading interpreter of playwright Edward Albee’s work. In addition to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, she directed the premiere of his Peter and Jerry at the Second Stage Theatre (2007) and his Occupant (2008) at the Signature Theatre Company, as well as The Play About the Baby (2002) by the Philadelphia Theatre Company. Additional Albee works that she has directed include: A Delicate Balance (2009) at the Arena Stage, Washington, DC, and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas, in 2003, about which The Houston Chronicle wrote: “Director Pam MacKinnon negotiates the shifting tone as expertly as Albee has written it.” Most recently, she directed the 2014 Broadway revival of Albee’s A Delicate Balance, starring Glenn Close, John Lithgow and Martha Plimpton.

In addition to the plays of Edward Albee, MacKinnon has directed a number of works by other important American playwrights, including Rachel Axler’s Smudge, Bruce Norris’ The Unmentionables, Itamar Moses’ The Four of Us, and Erin Courtney’s Alice the Magnet. She is currently directing the world premiere of Amélie, a new musical based on the 2001 award-winning film, which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2015 and is projected to open on Broadway in the spring of 2017.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Pam MacKinnon was raised in Toronto and Buffalo, New York, where one of her earliest theatre experiences was directing Thornton Wilder’s one-act comedy Pullman Car Hiawatha. She majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and enrolled in the political science Ph.D. program at the University of California, San Diego, which she left to work at the La Jolla Playhouse with director Des McAnuff, before moving to New York City at age 27.

MacKinnon’s visit is funded by the Jarka and Grayce Susan Burian Endowment. The late Jarka Burian taught in the Theatre Department at UAlbany from 1955 to 1993. He was the leading American scholar of Czech theatre and author of the award-winning book The Scenography of Josef Svoboda, a seminal critical study of the work of one of the twentieth century’s most influential theatrical designers. Grayce Susan Burian, who received her M.A. degree from UAlbany and also taught there, is best known for her long tenure as the director of the theatre program, which she founded, at Schenectady County Community College.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.