John Langs headshot

John Langs

John Langs has served as Artistic Director since 2016. He joined ACT in 2013 as Associate Artistic Director. Langs’ 16–year freelance career afforded him the opportunity to work with many prestigious theatre companies across the country. He has directed productions at Playwrights Horizons NY, Ensemble Studio Theater NY, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago, Circle X in Los Angeles, The Resident Ensemble, New Century Theatre Company, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. Langs received his directing degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Some of his favorite directing credits include The Shaggs Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for Best Original Musical), and Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Production of the year and Best Direction) and directing Kurt Beattie in King Lear. Langs received the first annual Seattle Gregory Award honoring excellence in direction for The Adding Machine. As a dedicated fan of original work, Langs has shepherded over a dozen projects to their premier production.

Anita Shah

Anita Shah is a recent transplant to Seattle from New York City where she worked with organizations such as Lincoln Center, Blue Man Group, Good Morning America, New York Live Arts, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and on numerous Broadway productions. Anita has had a long career in the theater, beginning as a technician and then transitioning into production management, producing, and organizational leadership. Anita brings her experience as a team-builder, organizational planning, and venue management background to ACT. Anita has toured nationally and internationally with both dance and theatre, and is proud to have worked on a variety of shows and events including the Tony Award winning productions of Once and Clybourne Park, the first Presidential Debate of 2000, and the New York City bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. Anita received her BFA from Emerson College.

“I am excited to be joining the passionate team of theater-makers at ACT. ACT has a rich history, and I am honored to be a part of its ongoing story. I look forward to working with my dedicated colleagues as we rethink what it means to make theatre, as we challenge ourselves and our audiences, and find new ways to deepen connections to our community.”

Dr. Eric Bennett – Chair
Maribeth Harper – Secretary
Gary Houlahan – Treasurer
Cynthia Huffman
Bill Kuhn
John Langs*
Erika Nesholm
Sarah Pierre-Louis
Anita Shah*
Ben Spicer
Bob Wright


ACT’s Staff and Board of Trustees are proud to have jointly begun a board restructuring process that is firmly centered around service to the organization, its efficacy, and empowerment. This decision was made to better align with our mission and values and empower all to more strategically work in service of our storied institution. ACT Staff and Trustees are proud to do this work in deep partnership, taking proactive steps to implement change in ACT’s board structure and constituency.

As of September 28, 2022,  ACT has completed Phase I of populating the new board. Moving forward together, in a committee-free structure, our Board will begin work on Phase II, the active recruitment of new trustees to help us fulfill ACT’s potential as the home for contemporary theatre in Seattle and in the Pacific Northwest.

If you would like to learn more about Board service or to express your interest in being considered for a position, please contact us at 

Sheena Aebig
Kermit Anderson
Joan Dee Barokas
Kurt Beattie
Laurie Besteman
Jeannie M. Falls
John H. Faris
Charles Fitzgerald
Brad Fowler
Katharyn Alvord Gerlich

Carolyn H. Grinstein
Sara Comings Hoppin
C. David Hughbanks
Kate Janeway

Jonathan D. Klein
Diane Lind
Jane W. Lyons
Nadine H. Murray
Douglas E. Norberg
Dr. George Ojemann

Kristin G. Olson
Eric Pettigrew
Pamela Powers
Katherine L. Raff
Suzanne Ragen
Catherine Roach
Jo Anne Rosen
Faye Sarkowsky
Carlo Scandiuzzi
Susan Trapnell
Brian Turner
George V. Willoughby

Richard C. Clotfelter
Esther Schoenfeld
Emeritus Council

*Artistic Director Emeritus

Kermit Anderson

Brad Fowler
Vice President

Gary Houlahan

Jim Minorchio

Eric Bennett
Trevor Cobb
Rachel McCracken