"Look to the Lady": A Look Back at Female Tony Nominees for Best Director

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
06 Jun 2014

Leigh Silverman
Leigh Silverman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playbill.com looks at the history of female directors who have received Tony Award nominations.


Tony nominee Leigh Silverman, who directed the Roundabout Theatre Company's critically acclaimed Broadway production of Violet, is the only woman to receive a 2014 Tony nomination for directing a play or musical on Broadway this season. In honor of Silverman's nomination, Playbill looks at previously nominated women who helmed productions on Broadway.

Click through to see some of the female directors who received Tony Award nominations for direction.

June Havoc

The performer, known as the inspiration for Dainty June in the Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy, received a Tony Award nomination for directing the play Marathon '33 in 1964.

Vinnette Carroll

The first African-American woman to direct on Broadway, Carroll was nominated for directing the 1972 production of Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, which she followed in 1977 with Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, for which she also wrote the book.

Elizabeth Swados

Swados received four Tony nominations for 1978's Runaways, a musical about the lives of children who ran away from home and lived on the city streets. Inspired by workshops conducted by Swados with real-life runaways, Swados was nominated for Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best DIrection of a Musical. 

Barbara Damashek

Damashek helmed Quilters, a musical about American pioneer women, in 1985, receiving a Tony nomination for Direction. Damashek also received nods for Score and Book of a Musical.

Carole Rothman

Rothman, who has served as artistic director at Second Stage Theatre, received a Tony nomination for her direction of Coastal Disturbances, a drama set on a New England beach, in 1987.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next