Prior to joining the American Repertory Theater (ART), Zigler served as Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theater Company of New York and Burlington, Vt., and Executive Director of its training program, the Atlantic Acting School, a professional actor training program affiliated with New York University, where he is currently a senior member of the acting faculty. He also has been a Lecturer in Dramatic Arts at Harvard since 1996.
Zigler previously served as Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at Indiana University in Bloomington and Director of the Apprentice/Intern Company at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He has been a guest teacher at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia; University of Pennsylvania; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Louisville; and Philadelphia High School for the Arts.
He is the co-author of “A Practical Handbook for the Actor” (Random House, 1986), currently in its fifth printing and translated into six languages.
Strongly associated with the work of David Mamet, Zigler has directed numerous of his plays, including “The Old Neighborhood” (world premiere) on Broadway and “Ghost Stories: The Shawl and Prairie du Chien” at the Atlantic Theater Company, “November” at Center Theater Group/Mark Taper Forum, “Race” at Philadelphia Theatre Company, “Glengarry Glen Ross” at the McCarter Theatre, and “The Cryptogram” at The Alley Theatre and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
At American Repertory Theater, he has directed “Animals and Plants,” “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” and the world premiere of Ellen McLaughlin’s “Ajax in Iraq” (ART Institute), while at Atlantic Theater Company, he has directed the premiere of Tom Donaghy’s adaptation of “The Cherry Orchard,” “Strawberry Fields,” “Suburban News” (world premiere) and “As You Like It,” among others.
Zigler was trained at and is a Charter Member of the Practical Aesthetics Workshop (now the Atlantic Theater Acting School), where he studied with David Mamet and William H. Macy; the Saratoga International Theatre Institute, Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki, Artistic Directors; the Circle in the Square Theatre School, through New York University; and a variety of special workshops and classes.
At the Institute for Advanced Theater Training, Zigler has supervised the Master of Fine Arts programs in Acting, Dramaturgy and Vocal Pedagogy, has designed curricula and chaired faculty searches, and has ensured philosophical cohesion between multiple acting methodologies, from the traditional Stanislavski training offered by MXAT to a variety of experimental and forward-looking concepts.