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07.29.17 | ReproRights! 

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I'm co-directing ReproRights!, an evening of short play readings, monologues, and performance pieces centering on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, raising awareness of the work being done by NARAL Pro-Choice America. Performing at Potrero Stage on August 19th at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance here

Produced as part of Three Girls Theatre Company's New Works Festival, the theme for which is Radical Hope And The New Resistance. See the whole festival line-up here

07.20.17 | The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

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Next up: I'm assistant directing the Bay Area premiere of Shotgun Players' The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George, directed by Nancy Carlin and starring Sarah Mitchell, Mick Mize, and Brady Morales Woolery*. Runs August 3-September 3. Get your tickets here.

07.12.17 | Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Class of 2017-2018

I'm so thrilled to be a part of the 2017-2018 SDCF Observership class! The Observership Program provides early to mid-career directors and choreographers paid opportunities to observe the work of master directors and choreographers as they create productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and at leading regional theatres across the country. Read more, and see a list of all of this year's class, here

06.20.17 | ShortLived: Round 2

I'm excited to be participating in ShortLived, PianoFight's new play competition, (read more here). I'll be directing white íris by Linda Girón, starring Regina Morones, Michelle Navarette, and Baela Tinsley. This piece will face off against five other new works in Round Two, performing at PianoFight June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Tickets on sale now- did I mention it's audience judged? Hope to see you there....

UPDATED (06.24.17): white íris came in third for Round Two- I'll take it! Thanks to everyone who came out and voted, and be sure to come back for the Finals on August 3-5.

05.01.17 | Pint Sized Plays in May 

I directed one of the new micro-plays featured in this month's Pint Sized Plays at PianoFight. Done, by playwright Eve Edelson and starring Sophie Nelson & Ayelet Firstenberg, is about a mysterious rendezvous between two people with a deadly misunderstanding. There are six other hilarious/scary/weird plays to check out as well, directed by my super talented friends. This FREE night of new plays happens at the coolest bar on Taylor every Monday night in May at 7:30 pm. PianoFight has delicious drinks, delicious food (the burger is *****), and delicious theater. 

12.05.16 | Young Playwrights Project

TheatreWorks has an awesome program I recently learned about called the Young Playwrights Project. In partnership with a local high school, a playwright-in-residence mentors students in the craft of dramatic writing for 2 months. The project culminates in a one day event in which selected works are rehearsed with professional actors and directors and presented for the community that evening. I'll be directing some student works on December 5th at Burlingame High School. Check out the calendar for more information, and stay tuned for details about attending!

10.21.16 | Directing Apprenticeship with PlayGround SF

PlayGround, the Bay Area's leading new play incubator, has an amazing Directing Apprenticeship program that I am thrilled to be participating in this season.  Here's the run down of PlayGround's structure:

                                                                                   L to R: Howard Swain, Jomar Tagatac, and Adam Roy

                                                                                  L to R: Howard Swain, Jomar Tagatac, and Adam Roy

  • Every season, PlayGround selects a pool of local playwrights, actors, and directors. Writers are given the opportunity to submit work each month.
  • Every month, the Writer's Pool is given a topic, and four and a half days to write a ten page play. Of these, six plays are selected to be produced as a staged reading at Monday Night Playground. A few days before, directors and actors are assigned to each reading and provided with the script. Each cast is given 90 minutes to rehearse just prior to the performance, and ten minutes of tech on the Berkeley Rep stage. At 8 pm, the audience arrives, and the performance begins!
  • At each Monday Night Playground, the audience provides feedback and votes for their favorite of the six readings. In June, the Best of Playground is an evening of fully-produced audience favorites from the Monday Nights of the previous season.
  • In addition, PlayGround commissions and produces full-length productions throughout the year, and offers classes for playwrights. 

Keep an eye on the calendar to find out about upcoming Monday Night Playgrounds, where I'll be assistant directing (and hopefully, eventually, directing) this season. There's also a great tradition of everyone heading to Jupiter after the reading for drinks and discussion.

I'll meet you at the bar,


10.20.16 | Interview on Broadway World

One of my most favorite people (and a former Chapman classmate) Monica Furman writes an awesome blog on about her experiences as a performing arts major about to graduate. This week, I was so honored to chat with her about my experiences in Bay Area as a theater artist since I graduated. You can read the interview here. Here's the part I like the best (as a totally impartial reader):

I think sometimes theatre people get in the habit of equating success in our professional lives with success in our personal lives. Because of the nature of what we do, it’s hard to think of these two things as distinct- they tend to overlap so much. But if your career isn’t taking off or you’re not constantly working on a project, it can begin to feel like your whole life is a failure in all aspects. I certainly dealt with this in college- I still do. But the truth is that who we are and what we do are two different things. My real job is to make sure that I am growing as a human and that I am a person I like. That is primary. For me, that’s what success actually looks like.

9.17.16 | Announcing Cal Shakes' 2017 Season!

From Artistic Director Eric Ting:

Greetings, friends, 

As we look forward to 2017, I want to share with you my thoughts on our next season’s plays, one I’m confident you’ll find as dynamic and exhilarating a theatrical ride as this summer has been. 

We’ll begin our season with As You Like It,that most classic of Shakespearean journeys; from city to forest, director Desdemona Chiang (who most recently directed A Winter’s Tale in Ashland) invites us into her Arden—a place both familiar and wildly unexpected, where everyone is so much more than they seem. We continue our celebration of modern American classics with Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie—a play you think you know, but in the dynamic hands of Chicago-based director Lisa Portes, a comedy of family that’s sure to feel gloriously new. I’m honored to be directing the West Coast premiere of black odyssey, Oakland-native Marcus Gardley’s adaptation of one of Western civilization’s earliest epics, a vividly theatrical tale of homecoming set right here in the East Bay. And finally, Measure for Measure completes our summer with that indelibly funny and simultaneously chilling examination of the body politic and the body personal. 

These four plays will form the core of a season rich with opportunities to dive deeply into the issues of our moment, continuing our efforts to build bridges between our art and our communities, between our past and our present, as we forge a classical theater for our 21st century. By subscribing, you’ll be showing your support for this vision, and joining a community of theater-makers committed to celebrating the transformational power of this art, here under the sky and stars, in our classrooms, and in our communities. Won’t you join us next summer? And always feel free to drop me a note——I’d love to hear from you. 


Eric Ting, Artistic Director


9.7.16 | Cal Shakes' New Artistic Coordinator!

The ink on the contract is dry, which means it's time to officially announce that I have joined the Cal Shakes team as Artistic Coordinator! You might be asking, "LeeAnn, what exactly does an Artistic Coordinator do?" If you are related to me, you are definitely asking that question. Repeatedly.

As Artistic Coordinator, I am "charged with supporting the administration of the Artistic office, including assisting the Artistic Director with special projects, coordinating the intern program, and participating in season planning." [I took this directly out of the contract.] 

To that end, if you want to reach me in a ~*professional Artistic Coordinator*~ capacity, you can reach me at  Keep an eye on the Cal Shakes website and Facebook page for announcements regarding Internships/Fellowships (we'll need a new Artistic Fellow, y'all), General Auditions, and more (#2017SeasonAnnouncement). 

In the meantime, Othello is fast approaching. I sat in on the designer run today, and let me just say: this kind of play has not been seen at Cal Shakes in my recent memory, if at all. Start to get ready for this beast of a show by reading this great interview with director (and my new boss heyyyyy) Eric Ting.


Your fave AC



8.13.16 | Reviews of You Never Can Tell at Cal Shakes

Reviews for You Never Can Tell are out! Here's what the critics have to say about this hilarious play:


"As sexual tension between Gloria and Valentine builds, Peterson finds delightful ways to amplify it with kinetic staging." -SF Chronicle

"Boisterous and hugely entertaining, roaring to life with clownish ebullience that will undoubtably delight audiences." - TheatreStorm

"Under Lisa Peterson’s direction, the cast and crew certainly get right what is most necessary to the play — and that is love, at its most antagonistic, sharp, and battle ready." -KQED Arts

 Danny Scheie, Lance Gardner, and Khalia Davis. Photo credit: Kevin Berne

Danny Scheie, Lance Gardner, and Khalia Davis. Photo credit: Kevin Berne

You Never Can Tell runs until September 4th- get your tickets here and use the promo code FRIENDS for 50% off!

8.8.16 | Behind-the-Scenes of You Never Can Tell at Cal Shakes

Currently in tech for You Never Can Tell at Cal Shakes and spending a dinner break updating my website... check out my newest blog post listing the crazy talented actors and designers on this project, and find more information about getting tickets to see this production on the calendar

You can also see behind-the-scenes videos and images from the rehearsal process (including my impromptu understudy role) on Instagram on my personal account (@dowd333) or Cal Shakes' official Instagram (@calshakestheater). 

6.5.16 | Reviews of Much Ado about Nothing at Cal Shakes

Reviews for Much Ado are in...


"From its opening moments, the show is a playground for make-believe." - SF Chronicle

"Honors Shakespeare’s text better than many “traditional” productions do. “Much Ado” is a comedy, but its darker themes of class and gender shine through splendidly here." - SF Examiner

"A hip, meta-theatrical way to introduce this streamlined version of the ultimate battle of the sexes." - Mercury News

"Burrows with a soft, gentle step into the roughest aspects of love." - KQED Arts



Running until June 19th. Get your tickets here.

03.23.16 | Assistant Directing Announcement

I'm very excited to announce that I will be assistant directing with Cal Shakes this season!

First up will be Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jackson Gay, running from May 28th- June 19th.

I'll be wrapping up the season with Shaw's You Never Can Tell, directed by Lisa Peterson, running from August 13th- September 4th.

Details to come about casting, creative team, design, rehearsal updates, and tickets!