EXECUTIVE/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ACT3 PRODUCTIONS
CHARITY OF CHOICE: Mary Hall Freedom House
Written by Niki Knippenberg
Patti Mactas is a woman of dauntless passion and vision. Her love for theater began when she was 3 years old, and today she inspires the next generation of Broadway greats at ACT3 Productions, the award-winning theater company she co-founded in Sandy Springs.
Mactas wasn’t always behind the curtain. Before settling down with her husband and three children in Georgia, she graced stages in Florida, New York and D.C., playing such dynamic characters as Cabaret’s Sally Bowles. Yet, it was the day she accepted the PTA’s offer to direct her daughter’s school musical that Mactas stepped into her most demanding and rewarding role.
Four years in, a cast-wide case of the flu became a defining moment in Mactas’ directing career. Cancelling dress rehearsal, she did what any “mother” of 50 adolescent actors would do: she cooked up a steaming pot of matzo ball soup for her under-the-weather cast. “We really are a family,” she said.
Spurred by her vision, ACT3 has grown from a small youth theater into a critically acclaimed community playhouse for all ages. Last month, ACT3 took home 12 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards, more than any other theater, and, for the third year in a row, Mactas was named “Best Director of a Musical.” She also initiated and brought a group of students together to write a Suzi Bass nominated original musical, an accolade generally reserved for professional theater.
For Mactas, though, the success is secondary. The reward is “seeing the joy on the kids’ faces when they step out on stage,” she said.
Mactas and ACT3 have come a long way from their first show in that school auditorium, but the spirit and sense of family remains. “And,” Mactas added, “there’s still homemade soup every opening night.”
Mactas is wearing Ming Wang ombre brocade jacket in cognac/gold/black with black “Tess” tank and black “Parson” ankle pants; Shane Co. sterling silver rose and black rhodium multi-chain necklace and bracelet, 14k white and rose gold diamond and pink sapphire ring, 14k rose gold diamond tennis bracelet, and 14k rose gold and natural black sapphire ring.