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Scott Edmiston brings more than 35 years of experience as a theater artist and educator to his role as dean of theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Hailed as “one of Boston’s finest directors” by the Boston Globe, he is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence (2011) for his artistic body of work and cultural contributions to the region. Originally from Pennsylvania, he relocated to Boston in 1997 and has directed more than 60 productions at theaters, universities, and opera companies, including the American Repertory Theater, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, Central Square Theater, New Repertory Theatre, and Huntington Theatre Company, where he was the artistic associate for seven years.
Edmiston is best known for his bold reimagining of classic American plays and musicals. These include the first U.S. revival of the opera Nixon in China (2004), hailed as “musically deft and deeply touching” by the New York Times; Five by Tenn (2006), an original composition of rediscovered Tennessee Williams plays; an interracial adaption of Eugene O’Neill’s 1924 Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Christie (2017); and a feminist reinterpretation of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play The Little Foxes (2019). Edmiston has also directed 25 New England premieres, most recently Shakespeare in Love (2017) and The Thanksgiving Play (2019).
Eight of his productions have been honored with the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Play or Musical including Constellations (2018), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2017), and My Fair Lady (2016). My Fair Lady was also named among the "best theater of 2015" by the Wall Street Journal. He has received numerous awards for his direction, notably for The History Boys (2008), The Light in the Piazza (2008), and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2009).
Prior to joining the Conservatory, he served as chair of the Department of Theatre at Northeastern University, where he received the Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Faculty Award (2017). He has taught at Boston University’s School of Theatre Arts, Brown University’s M.F.A. program, and Brandeis University, where he was the inaugural director of the Office of the Arts, overseeing the visual and performing arts for 11 years. His areas of teaching and expertise include directing, modern drama, queer theater, musical theater/film history, the films of Fred Astaire, and the plays of Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams.
As a professional dramaturg, he worked with playwrights such as August Wilson and Jon Robin Baitz and directors Mary Zimmerman and Kenny Leon. Among his many articles and publications, he is the author of “Acting Misbegotten: The Creative Journey to Eugene O’Neill” in Critical Insights: Eugene O’Neill (Salem Press, 2012).
A noted arts advocate, Edmiston served as president of StageSource, the Greater Boston Theatre Alliance (1997–2004), contributing to the rise of Boston’s mid-sized AEA theater community. Prior to moving to New England, he was a freelance director and served as artistic director of the Pennsylvania Stage Company. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from Boston University and a B.F.A. in acting from Penn State, who honored him with their Distinguished Alumni Award (2012).
Notable Recent Works
I believe theater is a way to discover our authentic self, develop an ethical and empathetic imagination, and explore truths about our world. I'm committed to awakening the mind, body, and spirit of the theater artists of the future.