Theater Guest Artists

Lileana Blain-Cruz

Lileana Blain-Cruz headshot


Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. She is Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater and a recipient of a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship. Other recent awards include a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award and an Obie Award for Marys Seacole at LCT3. Recent projects include Anatomy of a Suicide at The Atlantic Theater Company, Fefu and Her Friends at Theater For a New Audience, Girls at Yale Repertory Theater, Faust at Opera Omaha, and The House That Will Not Stand at New York Theater Workshop. In 2017, she won an Obie Award for her direction of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead at Signature Theater. Other projects include Lucas Hnath's Red Speedo at NYTW, Alice Birch's Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at Soho Rep, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' War at LCT3 and Yale Rep, Henry IV Part 1 and Much Ado About Nothing at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Bluest Eye at The Guthrie, Actually at MTC, SALOME at JACK, Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots which premiered in the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater, Project Realms an electric pop opera performed at La Sala, a new translation of The Bakkhai at the Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College, and A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with choreographer Isabel Lewis and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Dance New Amsterdam.

Blain-Cruz was a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, an Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, and she is currently a Usual Suspect of New York Theater Workshop. She was awarded a 2018 United States Artist Fellowship and the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theater Women. She received her BA from Princeton and her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama, where received both the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize and the Pierre-Andre Salim Prize for her leadership and directing. Upcoming projects include Dreaming Zenzille at St. Louis Repertory Theater and McCarter Theatre Center, and The Listeners, a new opera by Missy Mazzoli which will premiere at Opera Norway and Opera Philadelphia.

A member of the Class of 2006 at Princeton, she has served as a guest artist for the Program in Theater and has been guest director for student theater productions, including the world premiere in 2017 of GURLS for A Festival of the Arts at Princeton to celebrate the opening of the new Lewis Arts complex. In 2020, she was selected among 10 emerging artists who received special grants from Princeton's Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fund in support of the particular challenges faced by artists in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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

2017 Obie Award Winners: Lileana Blain-Cruz | Obie Awards

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” | Broadway World

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

LCT WELCOMES LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ” | Lincoln Center Theater Blog, August 31, 2020

Lileana Blain-Cruz named resident director at Lincoln Center Theater” | Broadway World, September 1, 2020

Listen to the SolTalk podcast: “Our Sacred Space with Lileana Blain Cruz”

Lileana Blain-Cruz, Teo Castellanos Among 2021 Doris Duke Artists” | American Theatre, October 21, 2021

‘Not Understanding Is Really Satisfying’: A Director Keeps You Thinking” | The New York Times, April 6, 2022






Class of 2006