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ABIGAIL DESER is a freelance director based in Los Angeles. Her work can be seen at the Boston Court Theater where she is developing and directing the world premiere of Lily Blau’s The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll, and, for young audiences, The Prince and the Pauper for the MainStreet Theater Company. Local work includes the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s Heavier Than… for the Boston Court Theatre and his short play Skulls for Chalk Repertory at the Page Museum, Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger, Honus and Me and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse for the Mainstreet Theater Company, the Los Angeles premiere of Adam Bock’s Thursday, Julia Cho’s Small Museum and Cusi Cram’s Predator, all for The Echo Theater Company. She was the Associate Artistic Director of the Ojai Playwrights Conference (OPC) for five years, where she developed and directed the Pinter Prize-winning Map of Doubt and Rescue by Susan Miller, T.D. Mitchell’s Beyond the 17th Parallel, Rogelio Martinez’s My First Radical, Lee Blessing’s Flag Day and Dan Deitz’s The Sandreckoner. She has also worked with the award-winning solo artist Heather Woodbury on The Last Days of Desmond Nani Reese and directed Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale at USC’s Bing Theater.
Her Chicago credits include her work at Steppenwolf Theater Company; Closer by Patrick Marber (Mainstage) with Gary Cole, and in conjunction with her own company Roadworks Productions, the midwest premiere of Kenneth Lonergan ‘s This Is Our Youth, Phyllis Nagy’s Disappeared and Serenading Louie by Lanford Wilson all at Steppenwolf. Also for Roadworks Productions, Dealer’s Choice by Patrick Marber, The Soldier Dreams by Daniel McGivor, and for Famous Door Theater, Two Planks And A Passion by Anthony Minghella.
Deser’s work has been honored with two After Dark Awards for Best Director and numerous Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for Best Director and Best Ensemble, and an Ovation award nomination, among others. Abigail curated and directed live shows for broadcast for Chicago Public Radio’s Stories On Stage for many years. She developed and directed Claire Chafee’s Five Women On A Hill (Magic Theater) and assisted Robert Falls on Young Man From Atlanta (Goodman Theater and the LongAcre Theatre on Broadway). In New York: Tone Clusters by Joyce Carol Oates (Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab) and Cages (Access Theater).
Deser studied with William Esper, Herbert Berghoff,Uta Hagen, and many other wonderful teachers.. She earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.S. from M.I.T.. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. She teaches scene study classes for Steppenwolf West, coaches actors for theater, film and television, consults with writers on script development and continues to workshop new plays at festivals around the country.