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ABIGAIL DESER most recently developed/ directed Steve Yockey’s Heavier Than… for the Boston Court Theatre and his short play Skulls for Chalk Repertory at the Page Museum. Local work includes Honus and Me and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse for the Mainstreet Theater Company at the Lewis Family Playhouse, 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.
In Chicago her credits include Closer by Patrick Marber (Steppenwolf Mainstage) with Gary Cole, This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan (Steppenwolf), Disappeared (Steppenwolf), Serenading Louie by Lanford Wilson, Dealer’s Choice by Patrick Marber, The Soldier Dreams by Daniel McGivor, and 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 since 2000. 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 in his 2-year Meisner program and with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghoff and many other wonderful teachers at HB Studios. She earned a BA cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.S. from M.I.T.. She is also an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Abigail 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.