After National Search, Actor’s Express Names Nan Barnett, Executive Director


Actor’s Express is excited to announce that Nan Barnett has accepted the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Nan is on duty and Interim Managing Producer Kate Warner will overlap with her for several weeks to insure a smooth transition.

“I have known Nan Barnett for about five years through our mutual involvement in the National New Play Network,” says Artistic Director Freddie Ashley. “She is fiercely smart — and one of the great advocates for new plays in the American theatre. I am very excited to roll up my sleeves with her and move Actor’s Express into its next twenty-five years!”

Nan’s prolific experience as a founding member and long-time Managing Director of Florida Stage, a company well-known for its support of new works, as well as her work with the National New Play Network make her a perfect fit for Actor’s Express.

Says Barnett from the Express office: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Actor’s Express team for the 25th Anniversary Season. Freddie has designed a great lineup for the audience and I am very excited this wonderful year of smart, stunning theatre.” 

The Board of Trustees and the search committee feel very strongly that Nan brings the executive level expertise required to move the organization forward and into its next quarter-century. “Nan is not only a person of national prominence in the theatre world,” says Bruce Cohen, Board Chair. “She is also fiscally astute and understands the importance of financial stability in this ever-shifting environment of the arts.  Nan is brilliant, energetic and team-oriented.  She will be a powerful advocate for our company and a wonderful addition not only to Actor’s Express but to Atlanta’s supportive artistic community as a whole.”


Nancy Barnett is a new play advocate, developer, and producer, and has made a career of nurturing theatre artists and the art they create. She was a founding company member and the long-time Managing Director of Florida Stage, the nation’s largest regional theatre producing exclusively new and developing plays. There she oversaw the development and production of new plays and musicals for emerging and seasoned playwrights, which generated hundreds of subsequent productions. A graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, Nan also served as the President of the National New Play Network during its recent rise to prominence, and on committees and panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Alliance of Musical Theatres, the League of Resident Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, the Kennan Foundation, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Florida Professional Theatre Association, and Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs, among others.