Artistic Staff Bios
MATT AUGUST (Director) directed Much Ado About Nothing and In the Heights for PTC. His productions have been seen both on Broadway (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and Off-Broadway, on National Tours, in many Regional Theatres and Festivals, at the Grand Ole Opry, and Madison Square Garden. They have been nominated for Ovation, Helen Hayes, Bay Area Critics, and Australia’s Helpmann Awards. His shows have appeared on Year-End Top Ten Lists for the L.A. Times (Two Gentlemen of Verona-Old Globe), San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News (Baby Taj-TheatreWorks), NPR/KQED(Fourth Messenger). Most recently, he directed the L.A. Times “Critic’s Choice” and six time Broadway World Award nominated production of The Gospel According to Jefferson, Dickens and Tolstoy: Discord at the Geffen Playhouse, Scott Caan’s Trouble We Come From at the Falcon Theatre (produced by Garry Marshall) receiving two Broadway World nominations, and the Los Angeles Theatre Works’ national tour of Charles Morey’s Dracula. He’s received fellowships and residencies from the Drama League, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, the Juilliard School, San Francisco’s Zen Center and received the Panavision New Filmmaker’s Grant. He’s mentored several directors through the Drama League and SDC Foundation, guest taught/lectured around the country and served on many Drama League Directing Fellowship selection committees. He directed the short family film How to Get to Candybar, which has played film festivals around the world, winning “Best Comedy” twice. He holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
JAMES WOLK (Set Designer) Previous designs for PTC include Other Desert Cities, In, Is He Dead?, The Yellow Leaf, The Heiress, Lost in Yonkers, Five Guys Named Moe, The Real Thing, The Mousetrap, Sophisticated Ladies, Present Laughter, A View From the Bridge, Rough Crossing and A Streetcar Named Desire. His designs for Seattle’s 5th Ave. Theatre include Buddy, Company and Yankee Doodle Dandy. NYC designs include Summer of the Swans at Theatreworks USA; Pagans at the Abingdon Theatre; Boys’ Life at Lincoln Center and Three Sisters, both directed by William H. Macy. Other designs include This Wonderful Life at Cincinnati Playhouse; The 39 Steps, An Ideal Husband and Man and Superman at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Lucky Stiff at Olney Theatre. James was the director for Zona, the Ghost of Greenbrier and Bruno Hauptmann Kissed My Forehead in NYC. For the Staedtische Buehnen Augsburg in Germany he designed My Fair Lady and West Side Story, Gypsy at Theater Magdeburg and at the Staatstheatre am Gaertnerplatz (Munich), Funny Girl. He has been nominated for the Helen Hayes, Barrymore and American Theatre Wing Awards.
AARON SWENSON (Costume Designer) is proud to be designing his third production for Pioneer Theatre Company after two consecutive years as Costume Designer for The Rocky Horror Show. Recently, Aaron also designed Salt Lake Shakespeare’s 2015 productions of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Twelfth Night, as well as the 2015 World Premiere of BOOKSMART at Plan-B Theatre Company. Additional design credits: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Plan-B Theatre, 3rd Revival); Assassins, tick…tick…BOOM! and The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Dark Horse Company Theatre); Nine Dragons, There’s a Monster in My Closet!, and The Dinosaur Musical (University of Utah Youth Theatre); Geography Club and Avenue Q (University of Utah Department of Theatre). Aaron is currently in his ninth season as Pioneer Theatre Company’s Wardrobe Supervisor and Head of Costume Crafts. In addition to his work in wardrobe, design, and crafts, Aaron has worked as a professional actor in Utah since 1997. Salt Lake audiences may recognize Aaron from multiple turns in Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company or as the title role in Plan-B Theatre’s original and revival productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Most recently, Aaron appeared onstage in Pygmalion Productions’ 2015 production of Buyer and Cellar, directed by Teresa Sanderson.
MICHAEL GILLIAM (Lighting Designer) Broadway credits include: Bonnie and Clyde, Brooklyn, Big River and Stand-Up Tragedy. West End credits: Gershwin Alone. Off-Broadway: Mr. Joy, Striking 12, Blue, End of the World Party, Zooman and the Sign and Menopause The Musical. National tours include Peter Pan, Brooklyn, Guys and Dolls and Big River. Regional: Pioneer Theatre Company, Arena Stage, The Globe Theatres, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory, The Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Geffen Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Prince Music Theatre, Denver Center and Arizona Theatre Company. Awards: Los Angeles Ovation Award, Drama-Logue Award, Garland Award and the 1999 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
JOSHUA C. HIGHT (Sound Designer) A Graduate With Distinction of London’s Alchemea College of Audio Engineering, Joshua comes to PTC with many years of experience in professional audio systems repair and design, and has established himself as an exceptional live sound engineer in both London and Salt Lake City. Joshua is looking forward to a successful third season working in theater design with Pioneer Theatre Company. His other projects of note include working with Sommerset House for the 2012 Olympic Games, and PTC’s Elf—The Musical, A Few Good Men, Much Ado About Nothing , Deathtrap, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, One Man, Two Guvnors, Alabama Story, The Crucible, I Hate Hamlet and Music Man.
AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup) has been a Makeup and Hair Designer for over 25 years. She has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Utah Opera, Egyptian Theatre Company and the University of Texas at Austin. She is a contributing writer in the tenth edition of Stage Makeup by Corson, Glavan and Norcross, and her work can also be seen in The Costume Technician’s Handbook by Ingham and Covey, andWig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre and Film by Ruskai and Lowery. She attended the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where she studied with Hair and Makeup Designer Lenna Kaleva. She is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and a current University of Utah adjunct professor of wigs and makeup.