“Whit MacLaughlin is the OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories. He has conceived, directed, and designed 9 original performance works with the company since its inception in 1996. Prior to his founding of NPL, he was a charter member, for 17 years, of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, originally under the artistic direction of famed theatre luminary Alvina Krause. Thus, since 1978, he has acting in, directed, or written over 100 theatre productions, most created in the midst of researching the techniques of collaborative theatre creation.
MacLaughlin has directed and performed in many productions along the east coast as a freelance artist. These include directing work with the Arden Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Act II Playhouse, the Chinese Art Coalition, and a variety of colleges and universities.
MacLaughlin’s exploration of ensemble techniques commenced, in large part, in 1974 with an extensive tour of western- and eastern-European repertory companies in England, Austrian, France, Germany, former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Greece, Italy, and Denmark where he met and studied with world theatre leaders including David Jones, Jean-Louis Barrault, Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook, Josef Svoboda, and Tadeusz Kantor.
He graduated with a BA in Buddhism from Northwestern University, and an MFA in directing from Virginia Polytechnic University. He has studied Suzuki Actor Training Method in Toga-mura, Japan.
He is a recipient of a NEA/Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artistic Advancement Grant, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship Award in 2003 and in 2005, and a 2002 Pew Charitable Trust Fellowship in Performance Art.