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Best Risk-Taking Artistic Director Phoenix 2012 - Matthew Wiener, Actors Theatre

Last season, he (and his Actors Theatre) brought us Geoffrey Nauffts's Tony-nominated and controversial paean to atheism, Next Fall. He brought Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Hunter Gatherers (about a dinner party at which an animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by sex, violence, wrestling, and dancing). And while so many other theaters were dusting off Gypsy and West Side Story for the umpteenth time, he brought us a stunning Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies' finest play in years. Weiner and company take risks where other companies won't, and for that (and for the bravery that led to Weiner booking this season's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, starring Ron May), we salute him.

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