Megan Sandberg-Zakian is a freelance theater director focusing on the development of diverse new plays for the American stage, and a co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Her first book, There Must Be Happy Endings: On a Theater of Optimism and Honesty is available from The 3rd Thing press. Megan has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater (Cambridge, MA), the Providence Black Repertory Company (RI), and The 52nd Street Project (NYC), and as Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) in Lowell, MA. Megan is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a proud member of SDC. She is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
Recent directing projects include the world premieres of Madhuri Shekar's House of Joy at Cal Shakes, Nathan Alan Davis' Nat Turner in Jerusalem at New York Theatre Workshop, and Eleanor Burgess' Chill at MRT. Other favorite projects include: Skeleton Crew at The Huntington Theatre Company, The Royale at MRT (IRNE Award, Best Production & Best Director), The Convert at Underground Railway Theatre (Elliot Norton Award, Outstanding Production; IRNE Award, Best Production & Best Director), the world premiere of The Broken Record at FringeNYC (Overall Excellence Award), the Boston premiere of The Brother Sister Plays at Company One in Boston (IRNE Award: Best Production), and the RI premiere of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Perishable Theatre/Trinity Repertory Company (Motif Awards: Best Production, Best Set Design, Best Actor).
As an educator and consultant, Megan has taught classes and workshops at Brown University, Yale University, and Northeastern University. She was a participant in the first ever TCG Diversity and Inclusion Institute, and continues to be part of the national conversation on creating a more equitable theater ecology. In addition to her first book, There Must Be Happy Endings, publications include "The Ferguson Theater Syllabus" in American Theatre magazine (co-authored with Claudia Alick), and the forwards to Lydia Diamond's Harriet Jacobs (Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Chantal Bilodeau's Sila (Talonbooks, 2015). She is also the creator/admin of a resource for identifying diverse theater designers and technicians.
Megan was born and raised in Seattle, and now lives in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston with her wife Candice. She enjoys keeping orchids alive, bird-watching, and searching for outstanding gluten-free baked goods.