Scroll through to check out the marquee names on the Great White Way.
Stephen Lewin and Kristin Caskey (Ambassador Theatre Group)
“I’m new to the industry and appreciate the very warm welcome,” says Lewin, who with producer Caskey heads up the North American branch of Ambassador Theatre Group. This year alone ATG debuted two notably renovated venues: Broadway’s Lyric (first tenant: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) and Boston’s Colonial (“Moulin Rouge!”). “I enjoy the expectation that comes with ‘the next show,’ whether my role is theater owner, presenter or producer,” Caskey says.
Michael Arden (‘Once on This Island’)
After forging a career as an actor on stage (“Big River”) and screen (“Anger Management”), Arden has made a name for himself as a diversity-minded director. Following his well-received Deaf West revival of “Spring Awakening,” his “Once on This Island” surprised the industry last season by taking home the Tony. “I am so very proud to be among a community who has always fought for inclusiveness and social justice,” he says.
Jocelyn Bioh (‘School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play’)
The actress (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “An Octoroon”) and playwright made a major splash with her play “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play.” It was such a hit for MCC that the nonprofit is bringing it back for a return run. “As a first-generation Ghanaian-American who writes African comedy, I am looking forward to adding to the conversation of how the diaspora is reflected in theater,” she says.
Matt Britten (Broadway Briefing)
Britten’s simple, smart idea — a curated aggregation of news of interest to the theater industry, emailed daily — quickly turned into required reading. Now he’s expanding with an industry-focused site, Broadway News, while keeping the daily newsletter going strong. “We imagine Broadway Briefing as a way for everyone in this industry to start their day on the same page, literally and metaphorically — to reinforce the strong sense of community on Broadway,” he says.
Brandon Victor Dixon (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’)
Theater fans already knew Dixon as a Tony nominee (“Shuffle Along”) and as the guy in “Hamilton” who addressed Mike Pence, but this year the actor (“Power”) broke big with his standout (and Emmy-nominated) performance as Judas in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” With his career on the rise, he’ll always consider the stage home. “The theater community has taught me to be an artist and collaborator, a more expansive human being,” he says.
Sonia Friedman (‘The Ferryman’)
Even for this busy producer, 2018 was a big year, thanks to the Tony-winning, transatlantic smash “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” But “Potter,” expanding next year to Melbourne and San Francisco, is just one (massive) title on an upcoming Broadway slate that includes buzzy Jez Butterworth play “The Ferryman” and the Murdoch media empire backstory “Ink” — not to mention London productions including the West End transfer of epic “The Inheritance.”
Jason Alden for The Independent
Maria Goyanes (‘Woolly Mammoth’)
The newly appointed leader of D.C.’s venerable Woolly Mammoth and one of a wave of rising female artistic directors around the country, Goyanes has been a longtime force behind-the-scenes at the Public Theater, where she worked on such shows as “Hamilton” and “Fun Home.” “Sometimes, I feel like I have lived three lifetimes already in the theater because of what I have seen, supported, and sweat to make come to life!,” she says.
Joe Iconis (‘Be More Chill’)
The fan-favorite composer (“Smash,” “The Black Suits”) gets a Broadway break with “Be More Chill,” which sold out so fast Off Broadway it prompted producers to transfer. A lot of those involved are artists Iconis has worked with for years, both on musicals and in his own concert series. “When I look around at ‘the family’ I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile with my damned life,” he says.
Martyna Majok (‘Cost of Living’)
The playwright took home the Pulitzer this year with “Cost of Living” after a string of well-received plays focusing on people and communities that often go overlooked both onstage and off it. “My proudest achievement is my immigrant mother feeling seen and acknowledged at the world premiere of ‘Ironbound,’ when an audience of 300 strangers stood up to applaud a play that was based on her life,” Majok says.
Lila Neugebauer (‘The Waverly Gallery’)
“The deepening of ongoing artistic conversations with the collaborators who challenge and inspire me is what keeps me in the theater,” says the director, who’s collaborated with her generation’s most notable playwrights (Annie Baker, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins). She’ll land on Broadway this season with a starry revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery,” starring Elaine May, Joan Allen and Michael Cera, after staging buzzy Off Broadway successes including “The Wolves.”
Carmen Pavlovic (Global Creatures)
The CEO of Australian production company Global Creatures is in the midst of two big Broadway moves. “Moulin Rouge!” debuted in Boston this summer to enthusiastic buzz ahead of a New York run next season, and now the ambitious “King Kong,” with a title role played by a giant, expressive marionette, opens on Broadway this fall. “I’m drawn to stories with universal themes — especially those around outsiders and our desire to belong,” she says.
Justin Peck (‘Carousel’)
A dance-world prodigy who is the resident choreographer of New York City Ballet, Peck was a ballet name until he was tapped for the current revival of “Carousel.” The dance-heavy production, including its virtuosic, seven-minute number for the men in the cast, turned Broadway’s head and won him a Tony. Expect more theater work from him in the future: “I’m looking forward to developing further dance-as-storytelling content within the theater community,” he says.
Andrew H. Walker/WWD/REX/Shutter
Jordan Roth (Jujamcyn Theaters)
As a theater owner, Roth booked “Springsteen on Broadway,” “Frozen” and “Mean Girls.” As a producer, he brought over the Tony-winning “Angels in America.” And he’s boosted his personal brand with a web series and a newsletter. “The theater has always been sacred space for me,” he says. “A place where I belong and can express who I am, what I think, and what I feel. Creating that space for each other is our community.”
Carole Rothman (Second Stage Theater)
This year Second Stage Theater and artistic director Rothman planted a flag for new plays on Broadway with the renovated Helen Hayes, where the nonprofit turned heads with starry inaugural productions of “Lobby Hero” and “Straight White Men.” Coming up on 40 years at the helm of Second Stage, she relishes being part of the theater community. “We’re part of the beating heart of New York City,” she says.
Jennifer S. Altman
Ari’el Stachel (‘The Band’s Visit’)
After struggling to find parts he responded to, the actor broke out this year with “The Band’s Visit.” His standout performance as the band’s ladies’ man earned him a Tony — and represented a major breakthrough for him as a Middle Eastern actor. He says that’s what being in theater is all about: “It means being part of a diverse community that always pushes the needle forward in challenging the status quo.”
Mark Subias (UTA)
Over the past six years at UTA, the agent has built up a prestigious list that includes Sam Gold, Annie Baker and Itamar Moses, with client activity this season including Ivo van Hove and Bryan Cranston on “Network,” Lila Neugebauer directing “The Waverly Gallery” and Suzan-Lori Parks’ “White Noise.” Not bad for someone who describes himself as “an über theater nerd who gets to make his living helping people make their dreams come true.”
Shaina Taub (‘Twelfth Night’)
The songwriter-performer (“Hadestown”) is working with Elton John on the score for “The Devil Wears Prada” — a gig announced as she was appearing in her own musical adaptation of “Twelfth Night” in Central Park, rainy summer be damned. “Singing and dancing alongside a hundred New Yorkers refusing to let the cold rain stop our joyful show, was a radically humbling experience.”
Alex Timbers (‘Moulin Rouge!,’ ‘Beetlejuice’)
The director (“Here Lies Love”) has two splashy, Broadway-bound titles: “Moulin Rouge!” and “Beetlejuice.” He’s always had a flair for giving musicals a contemporary edge, and counts “Tommy,” which he saw in high school, among his influences. “I remember being blown away by the notion that musical theater could be in dialogue with popular culture and music-video visuals,” he says.
Orin Wolf (‘The Band’s Visit’)
As a first-time lead producer on Broadway, Wolf is batting 1,000: “The Band’s Visit,” the stage adaptation of a small Israeli film, earned raves, moved to Broadway and swept the Tonys. “After six plus years of development, I finally saw this hunch I had work its way into people’s hearts.” Next up: A new piece around the music of the Buena Vista Social Club.