‘Game of Thrones’ Director Matt Shakman Named Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director

Shakman recently shot “The Spoils of War” episode featuring the epic dragon battle

Matt Shakman Star Trek

Matt Shakman, who directed this month’s “The Spoils of War” episode of “Game of Thrones” featuring the epic dragon battle, has been named artistic director of L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse, the theater’s board of directors announced Monday.

The veteran director, who has worked on film, TV and stages on both coasts, will work alongside the Geffen’s Executive Director Gil Cates Jr. to stage new work and revivals of classic plays at the nonprofit theater.

He will join the Geffen staff on September 20 and begin building the 2018-19 season. He replaces Randall Arney, who spent 17 years at the Geffen.

Shakman has directed several productions at the Geffen, beginning with the 2012 West Coast Premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Tony Award-nominated “Good People.” He also helmed Jeffrey Hatcher’s world premiere adaptation of Frederick Knott’s “Wait Until Dark” in 2013 and Joshua Harmon’s comedy “Bad Jews” in 2014-15.

Shakman will continue to direct for television and film while serving in his new role. He recently directed two season 7 episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” — “The Spoils of War” and last week’s “Eastwatch.”

He is also director and producer for FX’s long-running “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” His  credits also include episodes of “The Good Wife,” “Fargo” and “Mad Men.”

Shakman founded Los Angeles’ Black Dahlia Theatre and served as its artistic director from its inception in 2001. It was named one of “a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine.

“It’s a dream come true to join such a vibrant cultural institution,” Shakman said in a statement.

“After a comprehensive nationwide search, Matt clearly emerged as our first choice,” board co-chairs Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson said in a statement. “His unique artistic vision, coupled with his directorial and entertainment business experience, makes him an outstanding cultural fit for our theater. He and Gil Cates Jr. make an incredibly powerful team to lead the Geffen into the future.”

“I am delighted to welcome Matt to the Geffen,” said Cates. “His passion for extraordinary storytelling, his strong relationships with artists in theater, film and television, and his commitment to fostering community will be immensely valuable as we continue to advance the mission of the theater.”