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 third annual Women to Watch on Broadway.

While the industry is starting to rebound from the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic, and there is certainly reason to celebrate, recent data around women returning to the workplace is disappointing. According to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center in January 2022, men have completely recouped pandemic employment losses, while 1.1 million fewer women are participating in the labor force than in February 2020. 39,000 women over age 20 joined the workforce this past January, compared to 1 million men. As Broadway begins to bounce back, we must make sure women make up for lost ground in order to achieve our goal of gender parity among industry leadership.

Elevating the women on this list would be a great place to start. These extraordinarily talented women 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 may still be 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 based on nominations by 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 top roles.

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.

Alyson Ahrns

Director of Communications/Public Relations

Alyson is currently Director of Communications at the Dramatists Guild Foundation; she was previously Senior Public Relations Manager at TodayTix and an Account Executive at Slate PR; she has managed communications campaigns for the Tonys, the O’Neill, 24 Hour Plays, Steinberg Playwright Awards, and has worked on fundraising for amfAR, ASCPA, and GLAAD.

Melis Aker

Playwright/Bookwriter/Composer

Melis has developed work at the Atlantic, Ars Nova (Play Group member), NYTW (2050 fellow), New Group, Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF Fellow), Roundabout Space Jam, LaMaMa, The Lark, The Flea, Noor, Golden Thread Productions, 24 Hour Plays, Corkscrew Festival and BRIC; she has been on the Kilroys List, and made it to the final round of Sundance, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, and Playwrights Realm.

Cristina Angeles

Director/Playwright/Producer/Artistic Director

Cristina is an Associate Artist at Roundabout and the FoundingArtistic Director of Checkmark Productions; she is directing upcoming workshops at MTC and Second Stage; she was Assistant Director of A Soldier’s Play on Broadway.

Ngozi Anyanwu

Playwright/Bookwriter

Ngozi’s play Good Grief ran Off-Broadway at the Vineyard and at CTG, where it won their Humanitas Award and was on the Kilroys List; she has commissions with NYU, The Old Globe, Atlantic, Two Rivers Theatre, and Steppenwolf; she has had residencies at LCT3, Space on Ryder Farm, NYSAF, and Page 73.

Julie Boardman

Producer/Entrepreneur

Julie is Co-Founder of the Museum of Broadway; she conceived and produced the film I’m Still Here for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; her Broadway Co-Producer credits include Company, Funny Girl, and The Inheritance.

Adrienne Campbell-Holt

Director/Choreographer

Adrienne, the founding artistic director of Colt Coeur and recipient of the 2018 Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award, has developed work at most Off-Broadway and regional theaters in America, and is currently helming the world premiere of Other World at Delaware Theatre Company.

November Christine

Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter

November is a BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop lyricist, 2021 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award winner, and co-chair of the NYCLU Artist Ambassador Program; her musical LEGACY won Best of Fest at the 2018 New York Musical Festival.

Andrea Daly

Composer/Lyricist/Bookwriter

Andrea is currently writing the score for the Broadway adaptation of a major motion picture with Rick Elice (book) and Sara Cooper (lyrics); she wrote music, book, and lyrics for NEXT, commissioned by Barbara Whitman Productions and Grove Entertainment.

Victoria Deiorio

Sound Designer

Victoria is the head of Sound Design at DePaul University; her numerous regional and Off-Broadway credits include Primary Stages, the Sheen Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Syracuse Stage, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and Florida Stage.

Sarah Gancher

Playwright/Bookwriter

Sarah is the bookwriter of The Bengsons’ Hundred Days and The Lucky Ones, which garnered her several Lortel, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations and wins; she teaches graduate and undergraduate playwriting at The New School and NYU Tisch.

Erica Hemminger

Set Designer

Erica is a veteran Associate Set Designer working with Derek McLane, credits include MJ The Musical, A Soldier’s Play, Moulin Rouge!, Burn This, American Son, Children of a Lesser God, and many, many more; she was Art Director of Hairspray Live!, The Sound of Music Live!, and The Wiz Live! on NBC.

Marlo Hunter

Director/Choreographer

Marlo is the Director of Ever After and Saved by the Bell musical adaptations; she has directed and/or choreographed work at Second Stage, Long Wharf, Williamstown, Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, Pittsburgh CLO, Bay Street, and more.

Aja M. Jackson

Lighting Designer

Aja was the Lighting Designer of Off-Broadway’s A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet; regional theater credits include American Repertory Theatre, New Rep, Strand Theatre, and Boston Center of Performing Arts; Aja is Resident Lighting Designer for interdisciplinary, site-specific movement company Nourishment.

Nicole Johnson

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Director

Nicole is the Founder and Creative Director of the Harriet Tubman Effect Institute for Participatory Action Research, whose Broadway clients include Pass Over, Is This a Room, Dana H, A Christmas Carol, Freestyle Love Supreme, and A Strange Loop.

Candis C. Jones

Director

Candis is the Director of cullud wattah at The Public; previous credits include Celebrating The Black Radical Imagination (Williamstown Theater Festival)53% Of (The Alliance Theater)Detroit 67′ (DC Signature Theater), Everybody (NYU Tisch)and Morning in America (Primary Stages); she is an Associate Director with Dear Evan Hansen.

Lawryn Lacroix

Producer/Playwright

Lawryn is the most recent recipient of The Prince Fellowship, a current member of The Leadership Project, and a resident producer for The Shubert Organization’s Artistic Circle; her producing company Pinkhouse Productions has many notable film and theater projects in development.

Twi McCallum

Sound Designer

Twi was the Sound Designer of Chicken & Biscuits on Broadway, other credits include Kansas City Rep, National Black Theatre, MCC Theater, Goodman Theater, and Baltimore Center Stage.

Cynthia Meng

Music Director

Cynthia is the Associate Music Director of Suffs at The Public; she played keyboard for Company and Radio City Christmas Spectacular; Cynthia was the Music Assistant on Frozen on Broadway, and the Hadestown, Lempicka, and Moulin Rouge! workshops.

Rebecca J Michelson

Photographer/Videographer

Rebecca’s photography has been featured in Playbill, BroadwayBox, and BroadwayWorld, as well as on many Broadway stars’ social media pages.

Madeline Myers

Composer/Lyricist

A 2022 Kleban Prize finalist for lyric writing, Madeline is the winner of the 2021 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, a 2020/2019/2018/2017 Jonathan Larson Grant finalist, 2019 York Theatre Company NEO Writer, a 2021/2020/2019/2018/2017 ASCAP Plus Award recipient, and a 2016-2017 Dramatists Guild Fellow.

Cambra Overend

Producer

Cambra is producer and co-founder of SRO Productions with Bartlett Sher and JT Rogers; as a stage manager, Broadway credits include Oslo, This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men, Lucky Guy, That Championship Season, and August: Osage County.

Ming Peiffer 

Playwright

Ming’s play Usual Girls at Roundabout Underground in 2018 made her the first Asian woman to be nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Play in history, it was also a NY Times Critic’s Pick; she was commissioned by The New York Times to write Finish the Fight.

Maya Phillips

Theatre Critic

Maya is a New York Times critic at large, recipient of a Hodder Grant from Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts, and a PEN Open Book Award nominee; her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vulture, The Week, Mashable, Slate, and others.

Diana Salameh

Director of Marketing and Communications

Diana is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Serino Coyne, a co-founder of The Broadway Women’s Alliance, and a mentor for NYU Tisch’s Women’s Mentorship Program.

Angela Sclafani

Composer/Lyricist

Angela is a 2019 Fred Ebb award winner, 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant finalist, and 2017 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award semifinalist; her musical The Other Side of Paradise premiered at Ars Nova’s Ant Fest.

Melissa Shakun

Set Designer

A multiple Emmy Award-winner, Melissa was Art Director of Jesus Christ Superstar Live! for NBC; she is a Designer and Art Director for Saturday Night Live, frequently designing sets for the musical numbers.

Heather Shields

Producer/General Manager

Heather produced Bandstand and A Christmas Carol on Broadway and Puffs! Off-Broadway; she is General Manager of the long-running show BATSU! and a Co-Founder of The Business of Broadway.

Yuvika Tolani

Producer

Yuvika is Director of Producing at The Public; she studied Theater Studies at Yale and sits on the Alumni Board of the Yale Dramatic Association.

Siani Woods

General Manager

Siani is Assistant General Manager at RCI Theatricals; she was previously the Interim Managing Director of Children’s Theatre Company and chair of Front Row Theatre Company; she is a graduate of Wharton.

Jeanette Yew

Lighting Designer/Projection Designer

Jeanette either won or was nominated for a Henry Hewes Award, LIT Design Award, Lortel, and Drama Desk Award for her design of K-POP at Ars Nova; projection design work includes Top Girls, Relevance (Lortel nomination), and Informed Consent with Liesl Tommy; Jeanette is Assistant Arts Professor and Head of Lighting Design Training at NYU’s Department of Drama Production & Design Studio.

To nominate women for the 2023 Women to Watch on Broadway, please email info@broadwaywomensfund.com