See these Broadway shows directed by women
Women are directing pop musicals, high dramas, and everything in between on Broadway this season, and we're celebrating all the women-led works on right now.
For a long time, Broadway was known as a boy's club. After all, it wasn't until 1998 that a woman won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical: Julie Taymor, for The Lion King. That is why the 2021-22 season was special. First, for the record number of Black playwrights that have been produced, and secondly, for the number of women directing its productions. In fact, that Broadway season was one for the books, with 11 new shows directed by women.
The momentous 2021-22 season was bookended by works written and directed by women: It began with Pass Over — written by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu and directed by Danya Taymor (Julie Taymor's niece) — and ended with POTUS, written by Selina Fillinger and directed by Susan Stroman. The 2023-24 season is shaping up to be equally historic, with 11 new productions directed by women and counting.
But female directors are worth highlighting every season. From workplace comedies to tightly choreographed dramas to a musical about the wives of Henry VIII, here are the Broadway shows directed by women you can see now.
Six: Lucy Moss
Lucy Moss made history this season when, at just 26 years old, she became the youngest woman to ever direct on Broadway when she co-directed Six with Jamie Armitage. And if that doesn't make you feel bad enough about your age, Moss also co-wrote the hit musical with Toby Marlow when they were both in college. Six has the six wives of Henry VIII tell their own stories with pop songs so catchy, they will be stuck in your head for weeks after. Moss's voice is young, fresh, and energetic. Considering that Six is her Broadway debut, it'll be exciting to see what new heights she'll reach next.
Get Six tickets now.
Kimberly Akimbo and Water for Elephants: Jessica Stone
Kimberly Akimbo, the musical adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire's same-named play, premiered off Broadway in 2021 with Jessica Stone at the helm. She returned to direct the award-winning musical's Broadway transfer with its full original cast, led by Victoria Clark as a teenager with an aging condition that makes her look elderly. Stone earned a Tony Award nomination for her work.
That show marked Stone's Broadway directorial debut, and she's following it up with the new musical Water for Elephants, based on Sara Gruen's book. Previously, Stone assistant directed Match in 2004, but most of the multi-hyphenate's past Broadway credits are acting ones. She's performed in shows including Anything Goes, The Odd Couple, and Grease.
Get Kimberly Akimbo tickets now.
Melissa Etheridge: My Window: Amy Tinkham
Melissa Etheridge: My Window isn't your average Broadway show, and therefore, it doesn't have your average Broadway director. Etheridge's show, which intersperses personal stories with her soulful hit songs, is more of a concert than a traditional theatre performance. As such, she's tapped veteran concert director Amy Tinkham, who also staged My Window off Broadway last year. Tinkham's credits include Dancing With the Stars Live and Deuces Are Wild, Aerosmith's Las Vegas concert residency.
Get Melissa Etheridge: My Window tickets now.
Jaja's African Hair Braiding: Whitney White
After a prolific few years on the Off-Broadway and regional theatre scene, Whitney White is finally making her Broadway debut. She stages the Broadway-debut play of Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play) about women at the title salon whose Harlem neighborhood is rapidly changing and leaving them behind.
White directed the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway plays What to Send Up When It Goes Down and Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, the latter of which earned her an Obie Award. Most recently, she staged soft at MCC Theater.
Get Jaja's African Hair Braiding tickets now.
Merrily We Roll Along: Maria Friedman
Maria Friedman is the reason this once-panned 1984 musical is having a renaissance. Though composer Stephen Sondheim received praise for this musical about a trio of friends breaking apart, that was about it — until Friedman staged a revival in London in 2012. Her production received praise for streamlining and making sense of the show, and she brought that production off Broadway in 2021. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez reprise their starring roles for the Broadway transfer.
Get Merrily We Roll Along tickets now.
Cabaret: Rebecca Frecknall
Life is Rebecca Frecknall's cabaret, old chum, and we're just living in it. The director's immersive revival of Cabaret, which transformed a London theatre into the World War II-era Kit Kat Club, was a massive hit across the pond, earning seven Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival. So there's lots of buzz already happening around the show's Broadway transfer — and marks Frecknall's Broadway debut, no less.
Check back for information on Cabaret tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
The Notebook and The Wiz: Schele Williams
Williams co-directs the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel (and 2004 film) with Michael Greif. The production marks her Broadway directorial debut, following her turns as an actress in Rent and Aida and as an associate director for Motown the Musical. Two months after The Notebook starts up, she premieres her revival of The Wiz on Broadway following a national tour. Be sure to make a note of Williams — she has a fruitful directing career ahead.
The Outsiders: Danya Taymor
Directing talent runs in the family. Danya Taymor is the niece of trailblazing The Lion King director Julie Taymor, and she's established a notable stage career of her own. She directed Pass Over, the first new Broadway show to open following the pandemic, and staged eight Off-Broadway shows including the Pulitzer-nominated Heroes of the Fourth Turning. Now, she returns to Broadway to direct The Outsiders, the new folk musical adaptation of S. E. Hinton's classic coming-of-age book.
How to Dance in Ohio: Sammi Cannold
Sammi Cannold has been a force to be reckoned with on the Off-Broadway scene for a long time. Her best-known credit is an Evita revival at New York City Center, which was a New York Times Critic's Pick, and she's staged productions at other renowned venues like Lincoln Center and D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Now, she makes her long-awaited Broadway debut with How to Dance in Ohio, an adaptation of Alexandra Shiva's award-winning documentary about autistic adults preparing for a formal dance.
Appropriate and Uncle Vanya: Lila Neugebauer
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Appropriate is only Lila Neugebauer's second Broadway directing credit after the Tony-nominated The Waverly Gallery, but she's quickly adding to it, as she's also directing a new production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in the spring, translated by Heidi Schreck.
Fans of the Off-Broadway scene and even film and TV may already be familiar with Neugebauer's work. She directed four original plays — The Antipodes, Everybody (also by Jacobs-Jenkins), Miles for Mary, and The Wolves — earning the Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award. She also directed three episodes of The Sex Lives of College Girls and the feature film Causeway starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Get Appropriate tickets now.
Mary Jane: Anne Kauffman
Less than a year after Anne Kauffman made a splash with her Tony-nominated revival of Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, she returns to Broadway to direct Rachel McAdams in Mary Jane, about a single mother seeking support as she goes through a difficult family matter. Both McAdams and the play are making their Broadway debuts, but Kauffman did so in 2017 with Marvin's Room.
Check back for information on Mary Jane tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Originally published on