Nakissa Etemad is a professional dramaturg, producer, director, and French translator based in San Francisco, CA, and is the Regional VP-Metro Bay Area of LMDA and the former Executive VP Freelance. She has worked in the field of dramaturgy for over twenty years, including full-time posts as Dramaturg & Literary Manager for The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and San Jose Rep, and as Resident Dramaturg & Artistic Associate for San Diego Rep. Nakissa is the 2015 recipient of The Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for her work with playwright Marcus Gardley on the four-city world premieres of THE ROAD WEEPS, THE WELL RUNS DRY, part of the Launching New Plays Initiative of the Lark Play Development Center, at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska; Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis; LATC in Los Angeles; and University of South Florida in Tampa (roadweeps.org) (www.lmda.org/blog/272). Nakissa has fostered 23 professional world premieres of plays & musicals and dramaturged over 80 productions, workshops & staged readings with such writers as Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Lynn Nottage, Polly Pen, Luis Valdez, Charles L. Mee, Culture Clash, Marcus Gardley, Octavio Solis, Julie Hebert, Doug Wright, Dael Orlandersmith, Chay Yew, Katori Hall, Heather McDonald, Steven Dietz, Garret Jon Groenveld, Lauren Yee, Marisela Treviño Orta, Geetha Reddy, Jeanne Drennan, Dan Dietz, and Deborah Wain.
Recent world premieres include THE RIVER BRIDE by Marisela Treviño Orta at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; ISFAHAN BLUES by Torange Yeghiazarian, with music by Marcus Shelby, a co-production of Golden Thread and African-American Shakespeare Co.; Marisela Treviño Orta’s HEART SHAPED NEBULA at Shotgun Players; the jazz musical BE BOP BABY: A MUSICAL MEMOIR, written by Margo Hall in collaboration with Nakissa Etemad, and with music by Marcus Shelby and his 15-piece jazz orchestra, (Z Space, Nov. 2013). Recent Directing credits include staged readings of Orta’s WOLF AT THE DOOR (Brava Theater’s Studio Sessions), and HEART SHAPED NEBULA (Dramatists Guild of America’s Footlights Reading Series). Recent Dramaturgy credits include Garret Jon Groenveld’s THE HUMMINGBIRDS (Rough Reading at Playwrights Foundation); Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Reading and Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor workshop of Gardley’s THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND; the world premiere of Lauren Yee’s THE HATMAKER'S WIFE (AlterTheater); the inaugural premiere in the Kogod Cradle of Marcus Gardley’s EVERY TONGUE CONFESS for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater; Gardley’s …AND JESUS MOONWALKS THE MISSISSIPPI (Cutting Ball/PF); and the bilingual project OTHELLO 11, adapted & directed by French artist Astrid Bas, for the French Consulate of SF and Z Space. Other career highlights: The Wilma Theater's East Coast Premiere and 2nd production of Arthur Miller’s penultimate play RESURRECTION BLUES; The Philadelphia Orchestra & The Wilma’s EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOR by Tom Stoppard & André Previn; the world premiere Wilma-commissioned musical EMBARRASSMENTS by Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan; the world premiere of The Doors musical CELEBRATION OF THE LIZARD at San Diego Rep; working with Katori Hall on THE MOUNTAINTOP on Broadway in 2011 and in the '08 Bay Area Playwrights Festival; and producing the San Jose Rep’s 5th Annual New America Playwrights Festival, featuring writers Lynn Nottage, Polly Pen, James Milton, and Naomi Iizuka. Nakissa has also provided dramaturgy for The Cutting Ball Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival & Playwrights Foundation, Crowded Fire, Arizona Theatre Company, O’Neill Music Theater Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, and George Street Playhouse, among others. She studied at the Université de Paris III, and holds certificates from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, London, and an MFA in Dramaturgy from UC San Diego.
English, French, Limited Spanish & Farsi