New York Theatre Workshop 2024 Gala to Honor Liesl Tommy
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:14 pm EST 02/21/24








MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2024


New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) (Artistic Director Patricia McGregor and Executive Director Jeremy Blocker) has announced that the NYTW 2024 Gala will honor theater and film visionary Liesl Tommy. The Gala will be held on Monday, March 18 at 6PM at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, New York, NY 10018).

"Liesl Tommy is a visionary artist and a true groundbreaker," said Artistic Director Patricia McGregor. "Her career has blazed a path for so many others to follow – myself among them. I am moved that New York Theatre Workshop played a role in Liesl's story, and I'm thrilled to be honoring her this spring."

Added Executive Director Jeremy Blocker, "Liesl Tommy embodies so many of the values of New York Theatre Workshop: curiosity, virtuosity and breaking barriers. A former NYTW Fellow, she is now an inspiration for the many artists who have followed in her footsteps. We feel so lucky to count her as a member of our community."

Liesl Tommy is a groundbreaking, multi-award-winning director and producer of theater, television and film. She's the first Black woman ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, which she earned for Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyong'o. Liesl has directed over 50 productions throughout the world, including the world premiere of the John Kander and Greg Pierce musical Kid Victory, the first stage adaptation of Frozen as a multimedia extravaganza for Disneyland, and her box-office juggernaut production of Les Misérables. For the latter two, she made the groundbreaking choice to shift the casting to center people of color, laying the foundation for future productions. Liesl made her acclaimed feature directorial debut in 2021 with Respect, based on the life of Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige. Tommy has also enjoyed a successful career directing episodes of television including "Queen Sugar," "Insecure," "The Walking Dead" and "Mrs. Fletcher."

Liesl's childhood in Apartheid-era South Africa has deeply influenced her passion for stories about people fiercely pursuing personal and cultural freedom, propelling her to launch her NYC-based production company Crocodile Eyes with co-producer Jennifer Mudge in 2020. Projects in development include a collaboration with Andrea Ciannavei and Oscar-winning writer Alex Dinelaris' Lexicon NY, an original Feminist Horror film trilogy, and a legacy title live-action feature with Disney+. Upcoming TV projects include collaborations with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Tony Gerber, Emmy nominee Tanya Barfield, as well as Sister Pictures and Paramount+. On Crocodile Eyes' theatre slate is the previously announced Imitation of Life, a musical adaptation that Liesl conceived with book by Lynn Nottage and music and lyrics by John Legend; a revival with Wagner Johnson Productions; and the Rwanda Project with London-based producer Ryan Hugh Mackey and 2023 Olivier winner Mervyn Millar.

The evening's program will be hosted by Nicole Ari Parker ("And Just Like That," The Refuge Plays), directed by Kevin Cahoon (Shucked), and feature musical direction by Rick Hip-Flores (Bad Cinderella). The evening will be scripted by Thaddeus McCants ("Julia"). The live auction will be conducted by Robby Gordy.

The evening will also feature appearances and performances from Tony Award nominee Shoshanna Bean (Hell's Kitchen), Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Hell's Kitchen), Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Obie Award winner Eisa Davis ("Mare of Easttown"), Tamika Lawrence (The Heart of Rock and Roll), Joy Woods (The Notebook), Elizabeth Judd (Hamilton), John Manzari (Funny Girl) and more.

The NYTW Annual Gala raises 10% of the Off-Broadway company's annual budget. Funds raised at this one-night-only event help NYTW to mount world class productions and to share them with more than 50,000 audience members each season. Proceeds also support NYTW's Artist Workshop activities through which nearly 2,000 artists develop more than 80 projects each year and their Education Initiatives including Learning Workshop, Mind the Gap, and Public Programs that serve over 1,600 students of all ages.

Event tickets begin at $1,250 with tables starting at $12,500 and can be purchased at or by calling 212-780-9037. The Gala will be chaired by Will Graham, Lynn Nottage, Jeremy Reff, William Morris Endeavor and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP.

New York Theatre Workshop empowers visionary theatre-makers and brings their work to adventurous audiences through productions, artist workshops and education and community engagement programs. We nurture pioneering new writers alongside powerhouse playwrights, engage inimitable genre-shaping directors, and support emerging artists in the earliest days of their careers. We've mounted over 150 productions from artists whose work has shaped our very idea of what theatre can be, including Jonathan Larson's Rent; Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul; Doug Wright's Quills; Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde; Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla; Martha Clarke's Vienna: Lusthaus; Will Power's The Seven and Fetch Clay, Make Man; Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Far Away, A Number and Love and Information; Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's Aftermath; Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher; Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová and Enda Walsh's Once; David Bowie and Enda Walsh's Lazarus; Dael Orlandersmith's The Gimmick and Forever; Heidi Schreck's What the Constitution Means to Me; Jeremy O. Harris's Slave Play; Kristina Wong's Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord; Aleshea Harris's On Sugarland; and eight acclaimed productions directed by Ivo van Hove. NYTW's productions have received a Pulitzer Prize, 25 Tony Awards, 2 Grammy Awards and numerous Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards. NYTW is represented on Broadway with Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown, developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin; and the Broadway engagement of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along, directed by Maria Friedman and choreographed by Tim Jackson.

Alongside its artistic and community engagement activities, NYTW is engaged in the essential, sustained commitment of becoming an anti-racist organization in support and affirmation of Black people, Indigenous people and People of Color in its community. In June of 2020, NYTW published its Core Values statement and initial action and accountability steps. In an effort to provide greater transparency, NYTW shares progress updates, further commitments and next steps at


Previous: TB REGIONAL REVIEW: "X" in LAS VEGAS - T.B._Admin. 06:24 pm EST 02/21/24
Next: BIRDLAND presents VICTORIA SHAW in the return of “ UNDER THE COVERS” with guests PETER CINCOTTI, JOSH TURCHIN , RUBY LOCKNAR and more – 3/18 - Official_Press_Release 06:09 pm EST 02/21/24

    Time to render: 0.009622 seconds.