Artistic Director

Matthew Gardiner

At Signature Theatre, Matthew Gardiner has directed and/or choreographed more than 25 productions, including much lauded revivals of A Chorus Line, West Side Story, La Cage aux Folles, Jelly’s Last Jam, and The Threepenny Opera, as well as several world premieres including Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really, Nick Blaemire’s Soon, and Josh Schmidt and Royce Vavrek’s Midwestern Gothic. With Signature’s special commitment to producing the work of Stephen Sondheim, Matthew has directed and/or choreographed many Sondheim musicals including Passion, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Sweeney Todd and the world premiere theatrical concert Simply Sondheim. As The Washington Post said about Matthew’s work, “an overarching keen intelligence seems to be a hallmark of Matthew Gardiner’s direction, from brassy musicals to taut intimate dramas…all have been first-rate in execution.”

As Signature’s Associate Artistic Director for over a decade, Matthew helped to build several groundbreaking seasons, cultivated relationships with prominent and emerging artists, and oversaw several of Signature’s new work development initiatives, including the American Musical Voices Project (one of the largest musical theater commissioning programs in the country), SigWorks: Monday Night Play Reading Series (highlighting the work of DC area playwrights) and the Signature/Yale Composer Partnership, which seeks to give opportunity to early career composers.

Over the past year, in the midst of a global pandemic that has made live performance impossible, Matthew has worked to make certain Signature continues to engage its current audience with bold and exciting new artistic content, while also actively working to expand Signature’s reach to a broader audience. Matthew selected and planned Signature’s current 2021 Season, Signature Features, which includes five fully produced productions that can be streamed from home in partnership with Marquee TV.

Outside of Signature, Matthew has directed and/or choreographed at most of the prominent regional theaters in the Washington, DC area including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Studio Theatre. Matthew has also worked abroad, choreographing Titanic and directing and choreographing Doctor Zhivago for OD Musical Company in Seoul, Korea. Matthew is the recipient of three Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Director of a Musical and has been honored with more than a dozen nominations.