Theater Past Faculty

Lileana Blain-Cruz

Lileana Blain-Cruz headshot


Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. She is a recent recipient of a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship and a 2017 Obie Award for directing The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre. Recent projects include Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots which premiered this past January in the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater and A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with choreographer Isabel Lewis and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Dance New Amsterdam. She is the co-founder and director of the ensemble company Overhead Projector, which devises new work. She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama, where she directed Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, The Taming of the Shrew, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys, Buffalo Maine, Cavity and Fox Play as part of the Carlotta Festival of New Plays. She was one of the co-artistic directors of the 2011-2012 Yale Cabaret, where she directed Funnyhouse of a Negro, Vaska Vaska Glöm, and SALOME. She received both the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize and the Pierre-Andre Salim Prize for her leadership and directing. She was an Artistic Associate of The Exchange and The Orchard Project, a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and an Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. She is a graduate of Princeton University. Lileana recently directed a new translation of The Bakkhai at the Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College and is currently working on an adaptation of the Alejandro Jodorowsky film, EL TOPO.


Young Director Lileana Blain-Cruz Takes NYC Theater Scene By Storm” | Wall Street Journal

2017 Obie Award Winners: Lileana Blain-Cruz |

2019 Lucille Lortel Award Nomations: Lileana Blain-Cruz for Outstanding Director for Marys Seacole |

Lileana Blain-Cruz Named in Lincoln Center’s 2020 Class of Emerging Artists |

2020 Drama Desk Nominations — Lileana Blain-Cruz, Director of Fefu and Her Friends, Best Revival of a Play |, April 21, 2020