bio

Photo: Donna Bise 2017
Steve Umberger has directed, produced and developed plays, film/video projects and related events for many companies. Work includes staging and coordinating theatre/symphony projects, interdisciplinary partnerships, director and playwright commissions, and the long-term development and production of many new works, by playwrights including Wendy Hammond, Chris Kyle, Beth Henley, Clyde Edgerton, and Mark Dunn. Favorite directing credits include Wit, Proof, Falsettos, Kith and Kin, Cabaret, Three Hotels, A Delicate Balance, Angels in America, 33 Variations, Six Degrees of Separation, The Road to Mecca, The Tempest, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, all seven A Midsummer Night's Dreams, and video / film projects including ones based on the plays Boca, Decorations (from An Appalachian Trilogy; also co-author), and Husbandry (ASC Emerging Artist Grant). He has been involved in the opening and development of four professional theatre companies and three arts centers.
Founder/Director, Charlotte Rep (LORT); Creative Director, Festival Stage; Director, Playworks Group
Member: Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; Actors' Equity Association


Some of the last 5 years' projects

The Christians by Lucas Hnath
Playworks at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Produced in association with The Pine Hill Project, Fall 2017

T
his play about what we believe, and why we believe it, came at a good time for trying to cross the country's divide, and was a unique opportunity to talk with audiences after most performances. (Playwright Lucas Hnath was nominated for a 2017 Best Play Tony Award for A Doll's House: Part 2.)





Lunch at the Piccadilly by Clyde Edgerton and Mike Craver
Based on the novel and N.Y. Times Notable Book
A musical changing the world - one rocking chair at a time

Lunch at the Piccadilly was developed by The Playworks Group in four productions (and related education programs) and at the York Theatre Company in N.Y. Piccadilly was adapted by Clyde Edgerton from his novel, with songs by Drama Desk Award winner (and early Red Clay Rambler) Mike Craver.

Logo design: Jason Boys / iDesign2




What You Will by Wendy Hammond

In Hammond's provocative new comedy, Twelfth Night's characters show up in today's world as interns of all faiths (or lack of them) at the First Annual World Interfaith Conference for Peace. The play is in development after a 2014-16 playwright/director commission sponsored by Davidson College's Bacca Visiting Artist Program. Hammond's plays have been produced at Second Stage, SoHo Rep, Long Wharf and others. She holds an MFA from NYU and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School.

Illustration: Winnie Newton



Dream
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

Dream has had four development productions at three theatres with veteran Cirque du Soleil performer Karl Baumann. In this Dream, eight airborne actors make 'love' a very physical - and natural - place. Baumann originated roles in Cirque du Soleil's productions of Mystere, Quidam and Delirium.

Photo: Tom Terrell




The Christians, Playworks, produced in association with The Pine Hill Project, Fall 2017from left, Chandler McIntyre, Jonavan Adams, Steve Umberger, Brian Robinson, April C. Turner, and Graham Smith. Playworks is a project-based company formed to promote and produce authentic stories like The Christians for stage and film.







With novelist, playwright and musician Clyde Edgerton and company at the latest opening of Lunch at the Piccadilly, sponsored by Aldersgate. The decade-long project about our growing 'elderhood' was developed by Playworks in four productions.






Lunch at the Piccadilly at the York Theatre Company, New York, after the concert performance in the development series; from right, composer/performer and Drama Desk Award winner Mike Craver, Trip Plymale, musical director Amy Jones, Patricia Cucco, Rebecca Koon, Greg King, Fleur Alys Dobbins, Neal Mayer, Steve Umberger.




First reading of Stone Cold by David Wiltse, in the Festival Stage Visiting Playwrights Series (with all the season's playwrights in residence). The reading happened during the Festival Stage production of Wiltse's Hatchetman, first directed at People's Light in Philadelphia. Stone Cold later received its first N.Y. reading at The Directors Company. (L. to r.: Michael Huie, Wiltse, Amy DaLuz, Steve Umberger, Mary McCool)




With Dr. James Caress, Director of the Wake Forest Health ALS Center, and Susy Miller, businesswoman and ALS patient. Both were consultants for the two year collaboration between Festival Stage and Wake Forest University on Moises Kaufman's Tony Award nominated play 33 Variations, merging the worlds of arts, medicine and education.






With the Romeo and Juliet company, including principals Lauren Sowa, Sheldon Best, Forrest McClendon and Darrie Lawrence, at N.C. Shakespeare. Timely again in our own time, the play appeared on Broadway a year later for the first time in 36 years.


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