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The Drama League Announces First Directors Council

The 20-director council will help guide the organization into the future.

NEW YORK CITY: The Drama League has announced the formation of its first Directors Council, a new initiative comprising 20 directors and Drama League alumni who will advise the organization on its director-focused programming as well as looking at the future of theatre as the field looks toward eventual reopening.

“As the American theatre emerges in 2021 from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said League artistic director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks in a statement, “the incredible artists of the Directors Council will inform and partner in our efforts to create a revived field and a better institution—one that further embraces anti-racist practices, equitably supports BIPOC artists, improves the lives of its communities, and leads the world in healthy practices.”

The inaugural Directors Council will include directors Daniel Banks, Melia Bensussen, Christopher Burris, Jillian Carucci, Jennifer Chang, Desdemona Chiang, R.J. Cutler, Estefanía Fadul, Raz Golden, Brian Eugenio Herrera, Adam Immerwahr, Gwynn MacDonald, Tony Phelan, Lisa Portes, Lisa Rothe, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Rob Urbinati, Nicole A. Watson, Sharifa Yasmin, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh.

These directors and creators, who have participated in the Drama League’s director-focused programming in the past, will provide the organization with guidance and partnership. The initiative was created to further embed artists in the Drama League’s decision-making process, provide mentorship for fellowship recipients, and allow leading directors in the field to help guide the Drama League’s programming as the organization looks to support directors and be a leader in post-COVID re-emergence strategies for Broadway and the industry as a whole.

“I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the Directors Council at the Drama League,” said Phelan in a statement. “Fresh from college, I was invited to be a part of the 1987 Directors Project, and that experience—the artists I collaborated with, the senior directors who mentored me, the way I was welcomed into a community—launched me as a creator and as a person. I look forward to giving back to the many directors just coming into the field, and to working with the Drama League to provide an artistic home for all directors, regardless of where in their careers they might be.”

Directors Council members were invited to join the initiative by the Drama League’s artistic staff, and they will serve as one of the leadership councils of the Drama League alongside the organizations board of directors and national advisory committee. Additional members will be added to the council on an ongoing basis. More information about the initiative, including information on all of the council members, is available online.

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