Meckler, Nancy

Nancy Meckler is is an American-born director based in London. She was born in 1941 in New York, brought up in Long Island, and educated at Antioch College and New York University. Meckler studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Her early work was inspired by Joe Chaikin and Richard Schechner, with whom she had studied at NYU. She has lived in the UK since 1968 and is married to film producer David Aukin and mother to director Daniel Aukin and actor Jethro Aukin.

Meckler is best known for her theatre work with Polly Teale and the production company Shared Experience, founded by Mike Alfreds. Meckler was Artistic Director of Shared Experience theatre from 1988 to 2021. Her first theatre work was produced by the Freehold Theatre Company (1969–73), which collectively devised non-naturalistic avant-garde plays inspired by La MaMa (NYC Manhattan, Off Broadway 1961) and received the John Whiting Award for Antigone in 1970. She also ran the Leicester Haymarket studio company, prior to joining Shared Experience in 1987. Significant plays directed by Meckler include I.D. (Antony Sher, 2003), Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi  (Pam Gems, 1976) and Curse of the Starving Class (Sam Shepard, 1977). In 1981 Meckler was the first woman to direct for the National Theatre (Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf). As artistic director of Shared Experience she specialized in actor-centred, physical theatre adaptations of classics such as Mill on the Floss and The Bacchae. She also directed films such as Sister My Sister (1994) and Indian Summer (1996). Meckler has directed 5 plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as directing King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe.