Tom Burmester (Founding co-director) founded The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble in 2004 where he served as Artistic Director until 2015. He also presided over the historic Powerhouse Theatre as Managing Director during the Ensemble’s tenure (2008 – 2011). During his tenure with the Ensemble Tom produced and directed over 30 new plays, and developed what BackStage called "one of the finest and most committed ensembles performing on any Los Angeles Stage."
Tom is the writer and creator of The War Cycle which currently includes the plays Wounded, Nation of Two, and Gospel According to First Squad. He is a three-time Ovation Award nominee (in playwriting, directing, and producing), and has won several other awards and recognition for his work as a playwright, director and producer, including a Special Citation from LA Weekly for “Excellence and Breadth of Vision.”
From 2008 through 2017, Tom worked at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles as the Audience Experience Designer. There, he engineered engaging participatory experiences for some of the most exciting new theatre in the country. He was invited to demonstrate his work in this field as a featured speaker at the TCG Nation Conference where he presented “A New Frontier: Using Audience Engagement to Connect with Theatergoers,” and his work in the emerging field of participatory and immersive theatre has been recognized in American Theatre magazine and in LA Weekly’s annual “Best of LA” issue.
After many years in Los Angeles, in 2015 Tom returned to his hometown to pursue a PhD in performance studies at UC Davis, where he also teaches acting in the Department of Theatre and Dance.