New York Theater: DIRECTORFEST 2022 (The Drama League)

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by Gregory Bernard on January 18, 2022

in Theater-New York


The Drama League’s DirectorFest 2022, a festival spotlighting the art of contemporary stage directing by an exciting new generation of talent, featuring brand new productions led by its current Directing Fellows. The first two productions of The Drama League’s DirectorFest — which is running now through February 28, 2022 at A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES — are She Talks To Beethoven and Girlfriend.

Caro Guzmán and Milton Lyles in She Talks to Beethoven 

Adrienne Kennedy’s She Talks To Beethovendirected by New York Directing Fellow Keenan Tyler Oliphantfeatures Caro Guzmán and Milton Lyles. Casting is by Harriet Bass and Gama Valle of Bass/Valle Casting, and the Production Stage Manager is Sydnee Davis. Girlfriendwith a book by Todd Almond, music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet, directed by Leo Shull Musical Directing Fellow Sivan Battat, features Sushma Saha as Will and Alyssa Cassese as Mike. Casting is by Sujotta Pace, CSA and the Production Stage Manager is Cassie Cushing. She Talks To Beethoven and the musical Girlfriend plays as a double bill January 19 – 21, 2022 at 7pm and January 22, 2022 at 2pm.

Sushma Saha and Alyssa Cassese in Girlfriend

On the horizon in DirectorFest 2022 are Aditi Brennan Kapil’s play The Seventeenth Chapel, directed by New York Directing Fellow Reena Dutt  starring Reya Sehgal as Lon and Lisha McKoy as Tin — and Caryl Churchill’s play A Number, directed by New York Directing Fellow Ryan Dobrin — with Sid Ross as Salter and Ema Zivkovic as B1, B2, and Michael Black. The Seventeenth Chapel and A Number will play as a double bill February 2 – 4, 2022 at 7pm and February 5, 2022, at 2pm.

Lisha McKoy and Reya Sehgal in The Seventeenth Chapel

The creative team for DirectorFest 2022 includes Scenic Designer Emona Stoykova, Costume Designer Christopher Vergara, Lighting Designers Molly Tiede & Bentley Heydt, Sound Designer Kimberly O’Loughlin, Choreographer Asher Firestone, Video Designer Catalin Stelianand 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.  

Ema Zivkovic and Sid Ross in A Number

All shows are at A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES, Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at 502 West 53rd St.

The Drama League will also present Directors in Conversation: Tony Phelan on Friday, January 28 at 8pm ET via Zoom. Closing the festival will be 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 Monday, February 28, 2022.

Tickets to DirectorFest are $25 for the general public and free for Drama League Members. Premium opening night benefit tickets (January 19 & February 2) are available for $45, a portion of which is tax deductible. All tickets can be purchased at The Drama League is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for audiences, performers, and staff. All audience and staff members will be required to follow all CDC, NYS, and NYC health guidelines at the time of performance. COVID protocols include mask enforcement, proof of vaccination (including booster shots, if eligible), and limited capacity to allow for social distancing.  Please note that these guidelines are subject to change, based on mandates from governmental authorities at the time of the performance. For up-to-date information, visit


The Drama League advances American theater by providing life-long artistic resources for directors and a platform for dialogue with audiences. Founded in 1916, as one of the longest-running arts service organizations in the country, we continuously adapt to meet artists’ needs in the expanding entertainment landscape. We enable directors to make the most powerful, impactful work possible, expand their skill across multiple mediums to reach broader audiences, and build thriving, sustainable careers. Uplifting directors of all economic classes, races, abilities, genders, and identities is a cornerstone of this mission. We provide support to directors throughout their artistic lives, and our work in education offers continued learning to professionals and introduces the skills of directing to young people. Underpinning our work is the support of our members, a community of ardent theater fans and industry professionals whose commitment to advancing the art form helps develop the careers of the talented directors we champion.

photos by @catalinmedia

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