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Abbey Joan Burgess (she/they) is a director and playwright from Chicago, IL. Her extremely loud laugh and insatiable curiosity made her destined to work in the theater. Growing up with a deep love of literature, Abbey is fascinated by plays that challenge audiences and identity politics, demand intellectual rigor, and unapologetically crack open the underbelly of our humanity with the poetry of the abstract and experimental. Abbey concentrates in new work development, and is a proud directing alumni of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.


Abbey graduated from Yale College in 2019 with a B.A. in Theater Studies and English, where she also served as the President of the Yale Drama Coalition. In her time as an artistic leader, director, and playwright, Abbey worked to make theatrical spaces within Yale College more accessible and diverse, as well as rebuild ties to the New Haven community through performance. 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. 


Recently, Abbey was the 2019-2020 Directing/Producing Apprentice for McCarter Theatre Center, where her assistant credits included Gloria: A Life (dir. Emily Mann), the world premiere of Goodnight Nobody (dir. Tyne Rafaeli). 

Abbey was also the 2020-2021 Directing Mentee for Wingspace Theatrical Design, mentored by Tamilla Woodard and Alice Reagan.

Abbey is also a playwright. Her plays focus on disability, queerness, and the intricacies of intimacy. For more information about her writing, please click here.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hedges.

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