Nakissa Etemad is a professional dramaturg, producer, director, and French translator based in San Francisco, CA. She is the recipient of the 2015 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy for her work on four multi-city world premieres of Marcus Gardley’s the road weeps, the well runs dry through LARK’s Launching New Plays into the Repertoire (Perseverance Theatre, AK; Pillsbury House Theatre, MN; LATC; Univ. of S. Florida’s School of Theatre & Dance). The Regional VP Metro Bay Area for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA), she has worked in the field of dramaturgy since 1992, including full-time posts as Dramaturg & Literary Manager for Philadelphia’s The Wilma Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Resident Dramaturg & Artistic Associate for San Diego Rep. Ms. Etemad has fostered 24 professional world premiere plays & musicals and dramaturged over 90 productions, workshops & staged readings with such writers as Tom Stoppard, Arthur Miller, Lynn Nottage, Luis Valdez, Polly Pen, Marcus Gardley, Charles L. Mee, Doug Wright, Octavio Solis, Julie Hébert, Chay Yew, Dael Orlandersmith, Katori Hall, Lillian Groag, Culture Clash, D.W. Jacobs, Ray Leslee, Heather McDonald, Steven Dietz, Lauren Yee, David Adjmi, Dan Dietz, Geetha Reddy, Garret Jon Groenveld, Marisela Treviño Orta, Torange Yeghiazarian, Stephanie Fleischmann, and Jeanne Drennan.

Highlights include: Dramaturg for East Coast Premiere/2nd Production of Arthur Miller’s penultimate play Resurrection Blues at The Wilma; The Philadelphia Orchestra & The Wilma Theater’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favor by Tom Stoppard & André Previn, with David Strathairn and Richard Easton; the inaugural world premiere production of Marcus Gardley’s every tongue confess in Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle; the world premiere Wilma-commissioned musical Embarrassments by Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan; world premiere of The Doors musical Celebration of the Lizard at San Diego Rep, with workshops starring Billy Zane and Grace Jones; Producer of San Jose Rep’s 5th Annual New America Playwrights Festival 2001, featuring Lynn Nottage, Polly Pen, James Milton, Naomi Iizuka; and Dramaturg for Katori Hall on her play The Mountaintop in Bay Area Playwrights Fest. Ms. Etemad has also provided dramaturgy for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, O’Neill Music Theater Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Golden Thread, African-American Shakes, French Consulate SF, The Cutting Ball Theater (as Resident Dramaturg for BATCC award-winning productions of Marcus Gardley’s …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and Victims of Duty), Playwrights Foundation (PF) and six Bay Area Playwrights Festivals, Crowded Fire, Alter Theater, George St. Playhouse, Diversionary Theatre, Austin Script Works, and the inaugural season of Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor with Gardley’s the House that will not Stand.


This Dramaturg is currently working on: