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Abbey Joan Burgess (she/they) is a director and playwright. They hail from Chicago where she developed their belief in the superiority of deep dish pizza and love of grassroots, devised, and ensemble-based theater. Abbey brings not only her Chicago accent but foundations of honest collaboration and intentional messiness in all of their work.


Abbey eventually found their way to the East Coast, where she received a BA at Yale College in English and Theater, and discovered an affinity both for the art of playwriting and latent queerness. Whether that’s all to do with the mentorship of Deb Margolin, co-founder of the Split Britches Lesbian Theatre Troupe, no one can say for sure. 


As a director, Abbey focuses largely on new plays, with a passion for uplifting disabled & queer voices, a focus on using the stage to tell the stories of bodies that are othered & in constant revolt against societal constraints. Abbey is drawn to the communal ritual & artistic activism possible with environmental and immersive theater, and seeks to investigate methods of challenging audience spectatorship. Building community, accessibility, and creating room for diverse voices are central tenets of her theatrical passion, and belief that theater is an act of service. 


Abbey went off to King’s College during COVID to get a Master’s in Global Health and Social Justice. (Why not directing? A good question.) We don’t make art about art, most of the time, and Abbey wants to keep pushing their own understandings of the big questions. They’re finally, hopefully, finishing a thesis on the impacts of health care systems on disabled individuals.


To find out more about Abbey’s directing credits & artistic communities, click here. To find out more about Abbey’s writing, click here..

Photo Credit: Thomas Hedges.

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