Tony Award-winning director talks about his work on Sondheim musicals with Professor of Theater Stacy Wolf at the Lewis Center for the Arts
Tony Award-winning director John Doyle will discuss his extensive experience directing Stephen Sondheim’s musicals in a conversation with Professor of Theater Stacy Wolf on Monday, March 13 at 2 p.m. in the Marie and Edward Matthews ’53 Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street. Presented by the Lewis Center’s Program in Music Theater, the event is free and open to the public.
Doyle has directed a number of Sondheim works on Broadway and at regional theaters. He directed and choreographed the 2006 Broadway revival of Company for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and which received the Tony that year for Best Revival of a Musical, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Drama Desk Award. He also directed and designed the 2005 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone, a production that moved from London’s West End to Broadway and for which Doyle received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical and a Drama Desk Award. In both productions he employed a staging approach he had originated in the U.K. in which the actors provide the instrumental accompaniment for the show. He has also directed Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along in the U.K.and the U.S. and a production of Road Show at The Public Theater in New York.
Doyle has been artistic director of four major regional theaters in the U.K. He now has an extensive freelance directing career in theater, film, and opera. In addition to the productions noted above, his credits in the U.S. include productions of The Visit (Tony nomination for Best Musical, Drama Desk nomination for Best Director); Mahagonny (Los Angeles Opera, two Grammy Awards); Passion (Classic Stage Company, Drama Desk nomination for Best Director of a Musical); Caucasian Chalk Circle (American Conservatory Theatre); and Kiss Me Kate (Stratford Festival Theatre). In addition to numerous credits in London’s West End, Doyle has also directed at the Sydney Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, La Fenice in Venice, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Second Stage Theatre, Princeton’s McCarter Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. His work was recently represented on Broadway with his Tony Award-winning production of The Color Purple. He currently serves as artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York City and has been teaching theater and music theater courses at Princeton since 2014.
Wolf teaches courses in American musical theater history, dramaturgy and dramatic literature, histories of U.S. performance, performance theory, and performance studies, including a frequently offered course on the work of Sondheim. She is the author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical (recently named one of the “top ten books every theater lover should read” by Marissa Friedman); A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; and the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical. She is currently working on Beyond Broadway: Four Seasons of Amateur Musical Theatre in the U.S., which examines amateur musical theater at high schools, summer camps, community centers, and afterschool programs across the country. Wolf is director of the Program in Music Theater and director of the Princeton Arts Fellows program in the Lewis Center.
The Program in Music Theater is a collaboration among the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater and Program in Dance and the Department of Music, which brings together students, faculty, and guest artists in the creation, study, and performance of music theater to support and develop all forms of music theater—that is, any theatrical form that combines singing, acting, and movement—as both an artistic practice and a field of scholarly study.