Women to Watch on Broadway

To spotlight women in leadership, the Broadway Women’s Fund — Broadway’s first impact investment fund — is proud to announce the second annual Women to Watch on Broadway.

Covid-19 and its economic implications have devastated the entire theater industry, but research studies show women in the United States — particularly women of color — being disproportionately affected. Women are more likely than men to have left the job force, have reduced work hours, and to delay reentering the workforce. As Broadway rebuilds for a bright future ahead, it is now more important than ever to include women in leadership roles across the industry.

The extraordinarily talented women on this list are excelling in their careers in regional theaters, Off-Broadway, as Broadway associates, and in Broadway offices. Although they have already achieved significant success — many are winners of prestigious grants, scholarships, and commissions — they are still considered “emerging.” But each person on this list has emerged ready to take her place at the very top of the industry and shake up the status quo on Broadway.

This list, curated by Broadway Women’s Fund leadership and advisory board members, is by no means comprehensive. In fact, no list would do justice to the amount of capable and talented women in our industry. But we look forward to spotlighting additional future leaders in the years to come, and we hope that this initiative encourages Broadway industry members to look outside of their networks when hiring, and to empower the many women ready to step up into leadership positions.

We cannot expect the dynamics of this industry to change without the support of our whole community — so please: share this list, hire these women, and invest in their careers, because they are the future of Broadway.

And if you’re inspired to do more, ask us about how you can be a part of the Broadway Women’s Fund.

Sadie Alisa

Production Manager

Sadie is a Production Manager at Juniper Street Productions, she has most recently worked on TINA – the Tina Turner Musical, Dear Evan Hansen (Broadway and First National Tour), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Margaritaville.

Masi Asare

Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter

Masi is the winner of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, the Holof Lyricist Award, an Emerging Artist Grant from the Theater Hall of Fame, and the Haupt Composition Prize from the O’Neill; she has commissions with Theatre Royal Stratford East, Barbara Whitman/Grove Entertainment, Victory Gardens, and more.

Barlow & Bear

Songwriting Duo

Barlow & Bear are pioneers of the TikTok musical, their viral “Bridgerton” musical has a TikTok following larger than any Broadway show; Abigail Barlow is a pop singer/songwriter and Emily Bear is a singer/songwriter and accomplished classical and jazz composer and pianist.

Haley Bennett

Music Director/Conductor/Arranger/Album Coordinator

Haley’s recent Broadway credits include Associate Music Director and Alternate Conductor of Diana: A True Musical Story, Sub Conductor of Come From Away, Assistant Vocal Arranger/Additional Orchestrations on Once on This Island, and Music Coordinator for the upcoming NBCU / Apple TV show, Schmigadoon!. 

Valentina Berger

Producer/Entrepreneur

Valentina is the Founder of Go Broadway, an international educational program and travel company for Broadway; she is a Co-Producer of Broadway’s Company and The Minutes.

Carmel Dean

Composer/Arranger/Musical Director

Carmel’s first musical, Renascence, won the 2018 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical, and her song cycle Well-Behaved Women will soon be available for licensing; Carmel’s Broadway credits as Musical Supervisor, Musical Director, and/or Arranger include If/Then, Hands on a Hardbody, and American Idiot.

Chesray Dolpha

Artistic Director

Chesray is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition; she has worked with TDF, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and The Dream Center in Harlem; she serves as co-chair of the Taskforce on Equity and Inclusion for the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable.

nicHi Douglas

Writer/Choreographer/Director/Actor

nicHi is the Head of the Movement Department at Playwrights Horizons; she was the Associate Choreographer of Girl from the North Country at The Public; as Playwright, Director and Choreographer, she has commissions with Ars Nova and The Shed.

Jenny Gorelick

Producer

Jenny has been running Operations at The Tony Awards for the past six years; she is the Staff Producer for the American Theatre Wing and the Executive Producer of Nightdrive, a theater company with an Ars Nova Makers Lab Residency.

Lauren Gunderson

Playwright/Bookwriter

Lauren has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015; she is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Miranda Haymon

Director/Playwright

Miranda is a Princess Grace Award/Honoraria winner, she is a Resident Director at Roundabout and The Tank, a member of both the Devised Theater Working Group at The Public and the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, and a Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow; Miranda co-taught Contemporary Theater at Dartmouth College.

Carolina Ortiz Herrera

Lighting Designer

Carolina was the Associate Lighting Designer of Slave Play on Broadway, she has designed shows at Arizona Theater Company, the Apollo, Queens Theater, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Jessica Huang

Playwright/Bookwriter/Lyricist/Producer

Jessica was a 2018 MacDowell Fellow, the inaugural recipient of the 4 Seasons Residency, and a three-time Playwrights’ Center Fellow; she has commissions with Manhattan Theatre Club, TimeLine Theatre Company, Audible, Theater Masters, History Theatre, and Theater Mu.

Chika Ike

Director/Dramaturg

Chika has directed shows at The Public, Berkeley Rep, Playmakers Rep Theatre Company, The Goodman, Victory Gardens, and more; she has Assistant Directed for many notable directors including Daniel Sullivan, Liesl Tommy, Eric Ting, and Rachel Chavkin.

Amber Iman

Actor

Amber is a founding member of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and Black Women On Broadway; she is a well known Broadway actor who serves as a trusted advocate and voice for actors within the industry.

Jenny Koons

Director

Jenny has developed work at Steppenwolf, Ars Nova, The Playwrights Realm, the Atlantic, Denver Center, Huntington Theatre Company, Roundabout, The Lark, New Black Fest, and more; she was Associate/Resident Director of Off Broadway’s immersive Queen of the Night.

Sarah Lozoff

Intimacy Director

Sarah is the resident intimacy director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and RudduR Dance, and she has worked with American Ballet Theatre; she is a certified intimacy director and teacher at Intimacy Directors and Coordinators.

Patricia McGregor

Director

Patricia has directed work at the Geffen, CTG, the Guthrie, The Public, Roundabout, Lincoln Center, Dallas Theater Center and Signature Theatre; she directs the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, and a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama, where she also served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

Grace McLean

Composer/Lyricist/Actor

Grace is an Artist in Residence at Lincoln Center, where her first original musical In The Green debuted at LCT3, won the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, and was nominated for seven Lucille Lortel Awards.

Mayte Natalio

Choreographer

Mayte has been Associate to Sam Pinkleton and Assistant to Camille A. Brown on many productions including NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live; she has choreographed at Dallas Theater Center, is a member of Lubdub Physical Theatre Co. and is a founding member of the immersive events production company Minute Zero.

Shakina Nayfack

Playwright/Bookwriter/Artistic Director/Director/Actor

Shakina is the Founding Artistic Director of the Musical Theatre Factory and playwright/director of Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club on Audible; recognitions include a Lilly Award, the TRU Humanitarian Award, The Drama League Musical Directing Fellowship, and the Beatrice Terry Residency for women playwright/directors.

Jesca Prudencio

Director/Choreographer

Jesca has developed new work at The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, East West Players, The Lark, NAMT, EST, Space on Ryder Farm, La MaMa, Clubbed Thumb, and Joe’s Pub; she is the recipient of the TS Eliot US/UK Exchange at the Old Vic, The Drama League Fall Fellowship, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship.

Macy Schmidt

Orchestrator/Arranger/Music Director

Macy was the Orchestrator and co-Music Coordinator of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, Music Supervisor of She Persisted at the Atlantic, and on the music team of Broadway’s TINA: The Tina Turner Musical and upcoming Aida; she is the founder of The Broadway Sinfonietta, an all female-identifying, majority women-of-color orchestral collective.

Jane Shaw

Sound Designer

Jane has designed work at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre for a New Audience, Mint Theater, National Black Theatre, Rattlestick, Hartford Stage, Cleveland Play House, The Old Globe, and many more; she is a Drama Desk Award-winner for Outstanding Music in a Play and two-time nominee for Outstanding Sound Design.

Sarah Shutt

Box Office Treasurer

Sarah is the Assistant Treasurer at the Belasco, she was previously the Assistant Box Office Treasurer at the Circle in the Square for seven years, and she worked in the box office at Off Broadway’s Westside Theatre and Daryl Roth Theatre.

Charly Evon Simpson

Playwright

Charly, who recently signed an overall deal with HBO, was the 2019-20 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, her play Behind The Sheet was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award and received a NY Times’ Critics’ Pick, and she had two plays on the 2019 Kilroys List.

Katie Spelman

Choreographer

A winner of the SDCF Agnes de Mille Commission and nominee of Helen Hayes and Connecticut Critics Awards, Katie has choreographed at Goodspeed, Denver Center, Lookingglass, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Asolo Rep, Chicago Shakes, and more; she was Associate Choreographer of Moulin Rouge and Rent Live! on Fox.

Joanna Lynne Staub

Sound Designer

Joanna is a go-to Sound Designer at Seattle Rep, 5th Ave, The Goodman, WP Theatre, and many more; she is a frequent Associate Sound Designer on Broadway, recent shows include Angels in America, Sweat, and The Color Purple.

Cherie B. Tay

Stage Manager

Cherie (she/they) is the Assistant Stage Manager of Hadestown, previous Broadway credits include Assistant Stage Manager of Gettin’ the Band Back Together, Amélie, In The Heights (National Tour), and War Horse (National Tour); they are also a photographer, videographer (Hadestown), and ukulele teacher (Margaritaville).

Cynthia J. Tong

Producer

Cynthia is the Producing Associate for Tom Kirdahy Productions, Line Producer for 600 Highwaymen, a Fellow of WP Theater’s 2020-2022 Lab, and a founding member of The Industry Standard Group, the first BIPOC commercial theatre investment and producing organization.

To nominate women for the 2022 Women to Watch on Broadway, please email info@broadwaywomensfund.com

Women to Watch on Broadway (2020)

To spotlight emerging leaders in professional theater, the Broadway Women’s Fund is proud to announce the inaugural Women to Watch on Broadway.

Presented by the Broadway Women’s Fund — Broadway’s first-ever impact investment fund — this list celebrates the achievements of a diverse group of women working hard to make an impact on our industry. They are excelling in their careers in regional theaters, Off-Broadway, as Broadway associates and in Broadway offices. Although they have already achieved extraordinary success — many are the winners of prestigious grants, scholarships and commissions — they are still considered “emerging.” But each person on this list of 50 Women to Watch on Broadway is ready to take her place at the very top of the industry and shake up the status quo on Broadway.

This list, selected by Broadway Women’s Fund leadership and advisory board, is by no means comprehensive. In fact, no list would do justice to the amount of capable and talented women in our industry. But we look forward to spotlighting additional future leaders in the years to come, and we hope that this initiative encourages Broadway industry members to look outside of their networks when hiring, and to empower the many women ready to step up into leadership positions.

We cannot expect the dynamics of this industry to change without the support of our whole community — so please: share this list, hire these women, and invest in their careers, because they are the future of Broadway.

And if you’re inspired to do more, ask us about how you can be a part of the Broadway Women’s Fund.

In her 2019 Tony Award acceptance speech for Best Direction of a Musical, Rachel Chavkin (Broadway Women’s Fund advisory board member) said,
“[Gender parity on Broadway] is not a pipeline issue…” 

Here is the pipeline:

Clare Barron

Playwright

Clare’s play Dance Nation was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and her adaptation of Three Sisters will have a starry production at NYTW later this year.

Jen Bender

Producer

Previously Resident and Associate Director of numerous Broadway shows, Jen started Quick Brown Fox Productions to develop and produce several high-profile musicals.

Lileana Blain-Cruz

Director

Lileana is a recipient of the Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an Obie Award-winner for Marys Seacole and The Death of the Last Black Man…; other previous projects include Red Speedo, Anatomy of a Suicide, and Fefu and Her Friends.

Jhanaë Bonnick

Stage Manager

Jhanaë was the Production Stage Manager for several high-profile workshops at New York Stage and Film and was most recently a Stage Manager of Slave Play on Broadway.

Maggie Burrows

Director

Maggie has previously worked at Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Williamstown, EST, The Tank, and The Geffen; she was also the Associate Director of My Fair Lady, Sylvia, and Constellations on Broadway.

Sammi Cannold

Director

Sammi’s work has been making waves since she directed Violet on a moving bus at A.R.T., and she has since directed Ragtime on Ellis Island, Evita at Encores!, and Endlings.

Katherine Carter

Director

Katherine’s work has been seen at Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Westport Country Playhouse, Playwrights Horizons, On Site Opera, American Academy of Dramatic Art, NYMF and more; she is also Co-Founder of The MITTEN Lab.

Jiyoun Chang

Lighting Designer

Jiyoun is a Drama Desk nominee for Slave Play and Obie Award-winner for The World is Round; her work has been seen at BAM, Roundabout, Berkeley Rep, The Guthrie, The Old Globe, and more.

Anika Chapin

Dramaturg

Anika is a trusted dramaturg of new work in NYC, and has taken her skills out of town as the Literary Manager at Two River Theater and as Artistic Associate at Goodspeed.

Melissa Crespo

Director/Playwright/Producer

Melissa is Tisch’s Stage Artist in Residence; as a director, her play ¡Figaro! (90210) premiered at LA Opera and was produced twice Off-Broadway; as a writer, she co-wrote Egress (Cleveland Playhouse).

Chanel DaSilva

Choreographer

The choreographer of Moby Dick at A.R.T., Chanel is Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Move [NYC]; previous commissions include Gibney, Joffrey, Harvard Dance Project, and Juilliard.

Michelle Dorrance

Choreographer

A prolific tap dancer and choreographer, Michelle is a MacArthur Genius Grant winner, Princess Grace Award winner, Founder/Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance, 2017 Choreographic Fellow at City Center and an Artist in Residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation.

Emily Feldman

Playwright/Bookwriter

The list of Emily’s regional and nonprofit awards, fellowships, and commissions is long; upcoming shows include The Best We Could (a family tragedy) Off-Broadway at MTC.

Selina Fillinger

Playwright

Selina is an actress and playwright whose work has been heralded by Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune; her play Faceless received a Jeff Award nomination, and her play Something Clean received a NY Times Critic’s Pick.

Madeleine Foster Bersin

Producer

In addition to being a Co-Producer on What the Constitution Means to Me and The Inheritance on Broadway, Maddy’s creative producing includes House Plant at Next Door @ NYTW and Adrienne Truscott’s (Still) Asking For It at Joe’s Pub; she was also The TEAM’s Associate Producer & Interim Producing Director.

Katie Gamelli

Agent

Katie is a Theatrical Literary Agent at A3 Artists Agency, and she has an impressive list of clients including Grace McLean and Shakina Nayfack.

Tilly Grimes

Costume Designer

Tilly has two Lortel Award nominations (Underground Railroad Game at Ars Nova and The Government Inspector at Redbull Theater); previous work includes Seared, Small Mouth Sounds and Skypony’s The Wildness.

Jenna Grossano

Producer

Jenna’s work as a creative producer includes F*ck Marry Kill (New Ohio), Independents (Best Musical FringeNYC), Pussy Sludge, and Outlaws; she is also a founding member and Producing Director of Less Than Rent Theatre.

Ellie Heyman

Director

Ellie is the Director in Residence of Joe’s Pub; her show The Traveling Imaginary was rated in the “top five shows of the year” by NPR and given a Time Out Critic’s Pick; she is currently directing a ship-wide immersive show for the Virgin Voyage cruise line.

Elisheba Ittoop

Sound Designer

Elisheba is a go-to Sound Designer of original plays at the top NYC nonprofits including Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Roundabout, and more.

Britta Johnson

Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter

Hailing from Toronto, Britta wrote book/music/lyrics for Life After at The Old Globe, and previous credits include the libretto for The Kreutzer Sonata with Ballet Moscow.

Danielle Karliner Naish

General Manager

Dani is a General Manager at RCI Theatricals, serving as point person for several Broadway shows this year, and is very active in the Off-Broadway League.

Lauren Lovette

Choreographer

Lauren has choreographed two shows for New York City Ballet, where she is also a principal dancer, and is Artist in Residence at Vail Dance Festival.

Kate Lumpkin

Casting Director

Kate is well known for her work in the New York reading scene, as well as Off-Broadway, at The Kennedy Center, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, A.R.T., and more.

Taibi Magar

Director

Taibi is an Obie Award-winner for Is God Is who focuses on new work in New York and regionally.

Caroline Maroney

Producer

Caroline focuses on theater in Lorne Michaels’ office and is an Associate Producer of Mean Girls.

Kate Marvin

Sound Designer

Kate has designed sound for plays and musicals at A.R.T., Actors Theatre of Louisville, Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Heartbeat Opera, The New School, the Guthrie, WP Theatre, and more.

Anne McPherson

Stage Manager

Anne has several Broadway Assistant Stage Manager and Stage Manager credits to her name, most recently stepping into My Fair Lady and Once on This Island.

Kendra Moore

Company Manager

Kendra, the Company Manager of Blue at the Apollo, was previously with Disney Theatrical since 2003, starting off as Dance Captain for The Lion King and shifting into the role of Assistant Company Manager on the tour and on Broadway.

Kristy Norter

Music Coordinator

Although she is no stranger to the Broadway orchestra pit, Kristy is shifting gears and making her Music Coordinator debut with Six, making her the only female Music Coordinator on Broadway.

Olivia O’Connor

Dramaturg

Previously a member of the artistic staff at Roundabout, Olivia moved to Pittsburgh and has been developing the new work initiative at Pittsburgh CLO.

Helen Park

Composer/Lyricist/Orchestrator

Helen is the first Asian composer or lyricist to win a Lortel Award and is a three-time Drama Desk Award Nominee for her work on the Ars Nova immersive musical KPOP.

Taylor Reynolds

Director

Taylor received a Drama Desk nomination last year for Plano, and is one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of Obie Award-winning The Movement Theatre Company in Harlem.

Meredith Ries

Set Designer

Meredith has many Broadway Associate Scenic Designer credits to her name; previous Scenic Design credits include Love in Hate Nation and Dancepartyshowthing.

Jalaina Ross

General Manager

Jalaina is Associate General Manager at Foresight Theatrical, and is the point person for several big Broadway musicals and their national tours; she previously worked as a theatrical booking agent.

Erica Rotstein

Producer

In addition to her role as Director of Production at JGO, Erica is Chairwoman of the Board for Colt Coeur, Drew Gasparini’s manager, an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University teaching The Business of Broadway, and she produced The Bengsons’ Hundred Days.

Sandy Rustin

Playwright/Bookwriter

Sandy is the bookwriter of the adaptions of Clue, Mystic Pizza, two original musicals for Disney, and recently co-rewrote I Married an Angel for City Center’s Encores.

Ellenore Scott

Choreographer

Ellenore is the choreographer of Off-Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors, she has many Associate and Assistant Broadway credits to her name, is Artistic Director of ELSCO Dance, and was a finalist and All-Star on So You Think You Can Dance.

Jackie Sibblies Drury

Playwright

Jackie won the David Wickham Prize at Brown, and then went on to win the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Steinberg Playwright Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fairview.

Rona Siddiqui

Composer/Lyricist/Orchestrator/Music Director

Rona is a recent winner of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, ASCAP Foundation/Max Dreyfus scholarship, and the Larson grant.

Madeline Smith

Music Director/Arranger/Conductor

Madeline made history as the youngest woman to conduct in a Broadway pit (Waitress); she also adapted Frozen Jr. and Descendants for Disney.

Celine Song

Playwright

Celine’s play Endlings premiered at A.R.T. and quickly transferred to NYTW; she was named a finalist for the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was selected for the 2018 O’Neill Conference.

Danya Taymor

Director

Most recently, Danya directed Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Jeremy O. Harris’ Daddy, and Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over and Danai Gurira’s Familiar at Steppenwolf.

Awoye Timpo

Director

Awoye’s show Ndebele Funeral ran at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the National Black Theatre, and had a South African tour; she has also directed shows at The Vineyard, 59E59, Columbia, Juilliard, La MaMa, and more.

Annie Tippe

Director

Annie is known for directing new work; recent directing credits include Dave Malloy’s Octet and Ghost Quartet; upcoming shows include National Lampoon’s Lemmings: 21st Century.

Chloe Treat

Director/Choreographer

Chloe has directed and choreographed at just about every New York area college, and frequently choreographs at opera houses across the country; she is a Drama League Directors Project Alumni.

Whitney White

Director

Whitney is a Susan Stroman Directing Award-winner and an Artistic Associate at Roundabout; recent productions include What To Send Up When It Goes Down and Our Dear Dead Drug Lord.

Julianne Wick Davis

Composer/Lyricist

Julianne is a Larson Award-winner and Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award-winner; her music for Southern Comfort at The Public garnered a NY Times Critic’s Pick and Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations for Outstanding Musical; upcoming productions include Trevor Off-Broadway.

Emma Wilk

Sound Designer

Emma has sound designed in just about every midtown and downtown venue in NYC, and has also worked in regional theaters in White Plains, Vermont and Idaho.

Tamilla Woodard

Director

Tamilla is known for directing inventive, often immersive, new work; she is the Associate Director of Hadestown and the Associate Artistic Director of WP Theater.

To nominate women for the 2021 Women to Watch on Broadway, please email info@broadwaywomensfund.com