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’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.
Previously Resident and Associate Director of numerous Broadway shows, Jen started Quick Brown Fox Productions to develop and produce several high-profile musicals.
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 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 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’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’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 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 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 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).
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.
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.
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 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
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 is a Theatrical Literary Agent at A3 Artists Agency, and she has an impressive list of clients including Grace McLean and Shakina Nayfack.
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’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 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 is a go-to Sound Designer of original plays at the top NYC nonprofits including Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Roundabout, and more.
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
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 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 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 is an Obie Award-winner for Is God Is who focuses on new work in New York and regionally.
Caroline focuses on theater in Lorne Michaels’ office and is an Associate Producer of Mean Girls.
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 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, 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.
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.
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 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 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 has many Broadway Associate Scenic Designer credits to her name; previous Scenic Design credits include Love in Hate Nation and Dancepartyshowthing.
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.
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 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 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
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 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 made history as the youngest woman to conduct in a Broadway pit (Waitress); she also adapted Frozen Jr. and Descendants for Disney.
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.
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’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 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 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 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
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 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 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 [email protected]