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Top left: Caro Guzmán and Milton Lyles in "She Talks to Beethoven." Top right: Sushma Saha and Alyssa Cassese in "Girlfriend." Bottom row: Reena Dutt, Ryan Dobrin, Lanise Antoine Shelley, Keenan Tyler Oliphant, and Sivan Battat.

Drama League DirectorFest Kicks Off With Adrienne Kennedy, Matthew Sweet

The New York festival showcases developing directors in a bill that also includes plays by Aditi Brennan Kapil, Caryl Churchill, and Aimé Césaire.

NEW YORK CITY: The Drama League’s DirectorFest 2022, a festival spotlighting the art of contemporary stage directing by an exciting new generation of talent, is currently staging brand new productions led by its current directing fellows. The first two productions—Adrienne Kennedy’s She Talks To Beethoven, directed by New York directing fellow Keenan Tyler Oliphant, and Girlfriend, with a book by Todd Almond and music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet, directed by musical directing fellow Sivan Battat—are running this weekend. 

Next on the lineup are a double bill of Aditi Brennan Kapil’s play The Seventeenth Chapel, directed by New York directing fellow Reena Dutt, and Caryl Churchill’s play A Number, directed by New York directing fellow Ryan Dobrin, to run Feb. 2-5. The festival will close with a presentation of A Tempest (Une Tempête), written by Aimé Césaire and directed by classical directing fellow Lanise Antoine Shelley, presented in collaboration with Red Bull Theater and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) on Feb. 28.   

The creative team for DirectorFest 2022 includes scenic designer Emona Stoykova, costume designer Christopher Vergara, lighting designers Molly Tiede and Bentley Heydt, sound designer Kimberly O’Loughlin, choreographer Asher Firestone, video designer Catalin Stelian, and music director Elijah Caldwell. Daniel Brothers serves as props coordinator, Courteney Leggett is the production manager, and Ali Skye Bennet is the artistic line producer.

Tickets to DirectorFest are $25 for the general public and free for Drama League Members. All tickets can be purchased at

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