Theater Faculty

Mara Isaacs

Mara Isaacs headshot

Photo by T. Charles Erickson


Mara Isaacs is the founder and Executive/Creative Producer of Octopus Theatricals. From experimental to commercial, she collaborates with artists and organizations to foster an expansive range of compelling theatrical works for local, national and international audiences.

Isaacs was a producer on Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell, winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical. Her other recent projects include Iphigenia, a new opera by Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding; Theatre For One; Falling Out by Phantom Limb Company (BAM Next Wave 2018); the US Tour of Minefield by Lola Arias; An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson; Haruki Murakami’s Sleep, Poland’s legendary Song of the Goat Theatre. She is the Director of Project Springboard: Developing Dance Musicals, a new initiative created by the Jerome Robbins Foundation designed to inspire and support the development of dance-driven musical theater. She is also proud to serve as a consultant and advisor for Fiasco Theatre, The Civilians, Baryshnikov Arts Center and more.

Recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development, Mara has produced over one hundred productions that have been seen on Broadway (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Miss Witherspoon, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the country (BAM, Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and others) and internationally (UK, Europe, Middle East, South America, South Africa, Canada). Plays she has developed and produced have gone on to receive assorted Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, New York Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and have appeared a total of twelve times on American Theatre magazine’s annual “Top 10 List of Most Frequently Produced Plays.” She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ, and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She is currently visiting faculty for CalArts School of Theatre and for Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. She serves on the boards of Tofte Lake Center in Ely, MN, and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.