Evan Yionoulis Named Director of Drama at Juilliard

An experienced director and longtime professor at Yale School of Drama, she succeeds the late Jim Houghton at the prestigious school.

Evan Yionoulis. (Photo by Beowulf Sheehan)

NEW YORK CITY: The Juilliard School today announced that Obie-winning  director Evan Yionoulis, currently professor in the practice of acting and directing at Yale School of Drama and a resident director at Yale Repertory Theatre, will become the school’s Richard Rodgers Director of Drama at Juilliard starting with the 2018-19 academic and performance season. She succeeds Jim Houghton, who headed the division starting in 2006 until his death from cancer in 2016. Yionoulis has been on the faculty of Yale for the past 20 years and was Lloyd Richards Professor and Chair of Acting from 1998 to 2003.

“Evan’s impressive work at Yale and extensive directing credits make her the perfect person to develop our gifted actors and playwrights as she leads Juilliard’s Drama Division into the future,” said Juilliard president Joseph W. Polisi in a statement. “We were deeply impressed by her thoughtfulness and rich understanding of the educational process in both classic and contemporary work.”

Yionoulis remarked in a statement, “I am honored and excited to lead Juilliard’s Drama Division into its second half-century, carrying on the school’s great tradition of excellence, and preparing the next generation of actors and playwrights to transform the future of our field through their passion and artistry.”

In addition to her Yale position, Yionoulis is an award-winning director, helmding new plays and classics in New York and across the U.S. She has enjoyed collaborations with major American playwrights including Adrienne Kennedy and Richard Greenberg. She most recently directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Kennedy’s He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box for Theatre for a New Audience, where she previously directed her Ohio State Murders and the Off-Broadway premiere of Howard Brenton’s Sore Throats.

Yionoulis opened Manhattan Theatre Club’s Biltmore Theatre on Broadway with Greenberg’s The Violet Hour, directed his Everett Beekin at Lincoln Center Theater, and received an Obie Award for her direction of his Three Days of Rain at Manhattan Theatre Club, having directed the premieres of all three at South Coast Repertory. At Yale Repertory Theatre, she has directed Cymbeline, Richard II, The Master Builder, George F. Walker’s Heaven, Brecht’s Galileo, Gozzi’s The King Stag (which she adapted with her brother, composer Mike Yionoulis, and Catherine Sheehy), Caryl Churchill’s Owners, and numerous other productions including the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s Bossa Nova, and (upcoming) Kiss by Guillermo Calderón.

Other credits include productions at the Mark Taper Forum, the Huntington, New York Shakespeare Festival, the Vineyard, Second Stage, Primary Stages, Dallas Theatre Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and many others. She also directed Seven, a documentary theatre piece about extraordinary women from across the globe who work for human rights in New York, Boston, Washington, Aspen, London, Deauville, and New Delhi.

Since its inception five decades ago, Juilliard’s Drama Division has been dedicated to training versatile 21st-century theater artists and empowering them to thrive in an ever-evolving performing arts landscape.