An award-winning director and playwright, Art Manke has spent more than three decades promoting inclusion, gender parity, and community outreach in the theater and performing arts world. As a founding artistic director of the theater company A Noise Within, he established a racially and ethnically diverse roster of performers who put on award-winning productions of classic plays including "The Winter’s Tale", "The School for Wives", "Pericles", "Oedipus the King", and "The School for Scandal". Art Manke also spearheaded educational and community-outreach programs that continue today.
In addition to his work with A Noise Within, Art Manke gained extensive experience in arts administration with several well-known theaters and theater festivals. Over the years, he has provided administrative leadership to theaters such as San Francisco's Marine's Memorial Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, and Cable Car Theatre, and he has served as a producing director for the Vita Shakespeare Festival in Saratoga, California, where he managed all aspects of production and regional touring.
As a director and choreographer, Art Manke has earned national recognition for his work with theater companies such as South Coast Repertory, the Pasadena Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company and Santa Cruz Shakespeare where his production of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" was acclaimed for its multi-cultural and cross-gender casting. The recipient of five LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, among other honors, he has directed and choreographed regional and world premieres for well-known playwrights such as Amy Freed, Jeff Whitty, David Rambo and Itamar Moses. He has also written scripts for both the stage and screen.