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Zak Berkman

Zak is Producing Director at People's Light & Theatre, as well as a playwright, director, and dramaturg. Prior to joining People's Light in September, 2011, Zak was co-founder and Executive Director of Artistic Programming with Epic Theatre Ensemble, an OBIE, Drama League, and Lucille Lortel Award-winning artist-run company in New York City. During his ten years of leadership, Epic gained a distinguished reputation for developing new work and cultivating diverse, new audiences. The company's numerous Off-Broadway premieres include Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play, No Child... by Nilaja Sun, Palace of the End by Judith Thompson, and Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor. Epic also produced the widely acclaimed New York revival of JB Priestley's Time and the Conways. His own plays include Beauty on the Vine, A Breath Short of Breathing, and The Harassment of Iris Malloy. Beauty on the Vine has been produced in New York and Chicago, published by Dramatist Play Service, and optioned by Dirty Rice Pictures to be turned into a film. Zak also co-adapted Antigone and The Visit for Epic's nationally-recognized Arts-In-Education residencies at public high schools throughout NYC. Berkman is a former script writer for NBC's Days of our Lives. He is married to Teri Lamm and they have two boys, Eliot and Theo.

Invisible Inclusions
Essay

Invisible Inclusions

Planning the 40th Anniversary Season at People’s Light

14 September 2014

Zak Berkman offers insight into implementing diversity and inclusion as the Producing Director at People's Light.

An NPF panel.
Being Regional for a Reason
Essay

Being Regional for a Reason

Good News! Good News!

26 June 2014

This is the fifth in a series of blogs that chronicle the birth and infancy of People's Light & Theatre Company's (Malvern, Pennsylvania) New Play Frontiers. I will share the origins of this program, its impact on our organization in the process of selecting playwrights and community partners, as well as the discoveries we make during the residencies. Beyond reporting out, I hope this series will spark further conversation about the different motives for theaters offering playwright “residencies.”

Three people on a porch.
Being Regional for a Reason
Essay

Being Regional for a Reason

Shake it Up

17 August 2013

This is the fourth in a series of blogs that chronicle the birth and infancy of New Play Frontiers at People's Light and Theater Company. This week: community engagement and new plays.

A logo for People's Light.
Being Regional for a Reason
Essay

Being Regional for a Reason

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

23 June 2013

Zak Berkman continues his series on People's Light's New Play Frontiers. This week: the regional theater as matchmaker, and our playwrights begin their residency.

A logo for People's Light.
Being Regional for a Reason
Essay

Being Regional for a Reason

The Revolution Will Not Be Subsidized

29 March 2013

There is no lack of supply of new plays. Now we must make space for them. 

An outdoor sign pointing toward several offices.
Being Regional for a Reason
Essay

Being Regional for a Reason

Investing in Playwrights as Community Builders

6 March 2013

Zak Berkman begins his series on the birth and infancy of New Play Frontiers at People's Light & Theatre. This week: connecting playwrights and theaters to respond to their regional communities.

A portrait of Leonard Berkman.
Interview with Len Berkman & Zak Berkman
Essay

Interview with Len Berkman & Zak Berkman

13 June 2012

Ron Russell talks with father and son Len Berkman and Zak Berkman about the evolution of playwriting training, playwrights knowing how "the sausage gets made" in a producing context, the stereotype of the lone visionary playwright, and the need to promote self production in student playwrights.

Being Regional for a Reason 
Series

Being Regional for a Reason 

A series on the birth and infancy of New Play Frontiers at People's Light and Theatre.