Actors may get all of the attention and applause, but directors are the ones that truly run the show. The four Peninsula-area live theater directors featured below have contributed to our local arts scene for years and understand the hard work and vision that is required to put on a truly great live play or musical, from acting to scripts to sets, costumes and lighting. Fortunately for us, each has an upcoming show that you can attend to check out their great directing work.

Michael Elkins
Notre Dame de Namur University Theatre

1540 Ralston Ave.
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 508-3456

Michael Elkins is the chair of the Theatre and Dance Department at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, and has produced hundreds of plays, musicals and other stage productions in the Bay Area. At NDNU, he has directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Dead Man Walking” and has performed as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” As part of the NDNU Theatre Department’s 2012-2013 season, Elkins will be directing William Shakespeare’s “Twelth Night.”

Colman Domingo
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

500 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 463-1960

One of the highlights of the TheatreWorks season each year is the New Works Festival held each summer. The star of the 2011 New Works Festival was Colman Domingo and his play “Wild With Happy,” which will return this June at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Domingo, a multi-talented writer, director, actor and playwright who recently acted in Stephen Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated “Lincoln,” penned “Wild With Happy” and plays the title role himself. Domingo has been involved in the Bay Area theatre scene for many years, having debuted his first play “Up Jumped Springtime” in San Francisco in 1998. As well as his theatre work, Domingo has acted in many Hollywood and independent films.

Related: Best Upcoming Theater Events In The Peninsula

Dragon Productions Theatre Company.

Dragon Productions Theatre Company.

Meredith Hagedorn
Dragon Productions Theatre Company
2120 Broadway St.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 493-2006

Dragon Productions Theatre Company has recently moved to new digs in downtown Redwood City. Meredith Hagedorn founded and is the Managing Artistic Director for the company, which was founded in 1999 and was in the Palo Alto area until January 2013. Hagedorn has acted, directed and produced a variety of live theater. She states that the mission of Dragon Productions is to “produce professional theatre that is uncommon, intimate, and accessible to its audiences, artists, and community.” As part of Dragon Productions’ first season in Redwood City, Hagedorn will be directing the play “Rich and Famous,” written by playwright John Guare, the author of “Six Degrees of Separation.”

Jim Ward 
Coastal Repertory Theatre

1167 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 569-3266

Local director Jim Ward has directed several productions for the Half Moon Bay High School theatre program, including “Beauty and the Beast” and “Les Miserables.” A teacher at Half Moon Bay’s Cunha Intermediate School in the Language Arts department, this year Ward will be directing “The Underpants,” written by Steve Martin, famous actor, comedian and writer. The laugh-out-loud comedy will be performed by the Coastal Repertory Theatre as part of its 2013 season.

Related: Best Open Mic Venues in the Peninsula

Laura Tarwater-Scharp is a freelance writer, editor and historian. Originally from the Midwest, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. Her work can be found at