Nathan Autrey is a multi-talented theatre professional with a B.F.A. in Acting and an M.F.A. in Directing. He has over 17 years of experience as a professional stage director, educator, and actor. He has also worked as a movement specialist, fight and intimacy director.
Early in his career, he freelanced in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and helped co-create and run an ensemble-based theatre company called Broken Gears Project Theatre. They produced new, thought-provoking theatre inspired by Grotowski’s Towards a Poor Theatre. The works he directed for a budget-less season were recognized by The Dallas Morning News in the article “Aims small, has big success.” Lawson Taitte, former Arts Writer for The Dallas Morning News, went on to describe Nathan as “the most talented, young director in Dallas.” Most notably, his production of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea was featured in the article “A magnificent match” by the Dallas Morning News and was a Critics’ Pick in 2010. Additionally, he began his tenure and still serves as an Artistic Associate for Stolen Shakespeare Guild, a classical theatre company focused on reimaging classical texts through new lenses. He has also worked as a theatre educator at the high school and collegiate level while also appearing as a teaching artist at Shakespeare Dallas. He won the Bayard H. Friedman Drama Educator of the year award in 2015 before deciding to continue his theatre education.
After graduating from graduate school, Nathan worked in New York City, where he is still a member of the Playwrights/Directors Unit, which is currently moderated by John Patrick Shanley. He has worked with six off-Broadway theaters: The Irish Repertory Theatre, Daryl Roth Theatre, HERE Arts, 3LD, The Dirty Blondes Theatre Company, and Manhattan Rep. He directed six off-Broadway productions, three of which were original works that he collaborated with the playwright on during development. One of these three productions was recently published by Smith Scripts in the UK. He was the assistant director of Shining City at The Irish Repertory Theatre, starring Matthew Broderick. While working with the Daryl Roth Theatre, he had the opportunity to assist on the one-man show In and Of Itself, directed by Frank Oz, which is now streaming on Hulu. Lenny Bruce is Back, a one-man show that he directed in collaboration with the Daryl Roth Theatre, received regional recognition and was nominated for Best Regional Touring Production by Broadway World. It had a featured performance at Chicago’s legendary Second City, where Lenny’s daughter Kitty was in attendance and personally described it as the most honest portrayal of her father that she had ever seen.
Nathan, as the Artistic Director of the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, produced the most financially and artistically successful season in the theatre’s 46-year history. The season saw the largest growth in ticket sales, donations, and grants. It was also the most ambitious season, with seven main stage productions programmed and unveiled in advance, and performers including members of Actors’ Equity, nearly doubling the previous operation budget. As a result of the success, the Town of Breckenridge agreed to donate a plot of land for a new performance space, and Nathan worked with an architect to develop his vision. Plans were approved to begin a capital campaign in 2020, and a donor was committed to offering a sizable donation as a sign of faith in Nathan’s leadership.
Nathan is currently working with two professional Shakespeare companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Shakespeare Dallas and Stolen Shakespeare Guild. He has played the role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare Dallas’ first production after the pandemic, and has also associate directed and associate produced A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and intimacy directed both A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, as part of Shakespeare Dallas’ 50th summer season. Nathan has also served as a Movement/Intimacy Director for an all-female production of Hamlet with Shakespeare Dallas. He directed productions of Something Rotten and The Producers at Stolen Shakespeare Guild, both of which were highly reviewed, and served as a Fight/Intimacy Director for Junior Players production of As You Like. Nathan is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas, where he has served in many roles, including Director, Fight/Intimacy Director, mentor to young directors, and instructor of up to 5 courses per semester, including helping to instruct the curriculum for Movement II. This past spring 2023, he directed a production of American Idiot, which has been described as one of the strongest productions in department history and had one of the largest audience turnouts. Based on student evaluations, he is one of the highest rated professors in the department, with a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0.
Nathan is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union and the Society for American Fight Directors.