Anne Kauffman

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Anne Kauffman
EducationStanford University (BA)
University of California, San Diego (MFA)

Anne Kauffman is an American director known primarily for her work on new plays, mainly in the New York area. She is a founding member of the theater group the Civilians.[1][2] She made her Broadway debut with the Scott McPherson play Marvin's Room (2017) and returned with the revival of the Lorraine Hansberry play The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (2023).

Early life and education[edit]

Kauffman received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her MFA from the graduate directing program at UCSD.

Kauffman has said: "I'm attracted to plays that need the theater and belong only to the theater,...I've always been very interested in writers who have a kind of mystery to them--something that makes me work a little hard and is compelling and mysterious...trying to get at the world from a slightly odd angle....I do love working with a playwright more than once."[3]


2006-2013: Regional and off-Broadway[edit]

Kauffman's past regional productions include Body Awareness by Annie Baker (2012) at the Wilma Theater;[4] and Pulitzer Prize finalist Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo (2009); The Flea and the Professor by Jordan Harrison at the Arden Theatre Company (2011); Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare at the Williamstown Theatre Festival (2010); We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Adam Bock and Todd Almond at Yale Rep (2010); The Communist Dracula Pageant by Anne Washburn at ART (2008); Expecting Isabel by Lisa Loomer and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley at Asolo Repertory Theatre (2007); Act A Lady by Jordan Harrison at the Humana Festival of New American Plays (2006);[5] and Typographer's Dream and Shaker Chair by Adam Bock (2005).

Kauffman directed The Thugs by Adam Bock Off-Broadway at the Soho Rep in 2006.[6] She received the 2007 Obie Award for direction for this production.[7]

Kauffman directed Amy Herzog's Belleville Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2013. The reviewer for Time magazine wrote: "She [Kauffman] serves the play wonderfully, with a light but firm hand, for a tense, almost breathtaking hour and a half."[8] She also directed Belleville at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, in 2013. The reviewer of the Chicago production noted "Kauffmann's tense, adroit, nuanced, deftly cast production..."[9] She directed Amy Herzog's Mary Jane Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in Sept. 2017. Jesse Green, in his review for The New York Times, noted "Ms. Kauffman's ideally detailed direction."[10]

Past Off-Broadway productions include Maple and Vine by Jordan Harrison (2011) and Pulitzer Prize finalist play Detroit by Lisa D'Amour (2012) at Playwrights Horizons;.[11] Stunning by David Adjmi (2009) and Slowgirl by Greg Pierce (2012) at LCT3 ;[12] You'd Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents' Divorce (Written with The Civilians) at The Flea Theater (2012); This Wide Night by Chloe Moss by Naked Angels Theater Company (2010); Sixty Miles to Silver Lake by Dan Le Franc at Soho Rep (2009); Have You Seen Steve Steven by Ann Marie Healy with 13P (2007); God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz at The Vineyard and New Georges (2007); and The Ladies by Anne Washburn at the Cherry Lane Theater and Dixon Place (2004).[13]

2016-present: Broadway debut[edit]

In 2016, she directed Smokefall by Noah Haidle with Zachary Quinto at the Off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Theatre in an MCC production; she had previously directed the play at the South Coast Repertory, and the Goodman Theatre in 2013. She directed The Nether by Jennifer Haley in 2015 for MCC.[3][14] She directed Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison at Playwrights Horizons in 2015. This was the second time that Kauffman and Harrison worked together.[15] In 2014 she directed the Off-Broadway production of You Got Older by Clare Barron at HERE.[16] She directed Sundown, Yellow Moon by Rachel Bonds, which premiered Off-Broadway at the WP Theater in a co-production by Ars Nova and WP in 2017. Ben Brantley, in his review for The New York Times, noted the "beautifully acted production...directed with probing sensitivity by Anne Kauffman."[17]

In 2017, she made her Broadway debut directing Marvin's Room for Roundabout Theatre Company, Assassins at Encores! Off-Center, Mary Jane at New York Theatre Workshop, and Hundred Days at the Under the Radar Festival and New York Theatre Workshop.[18][19][20] In 2018, she directed The Lucky Ones at the Connelly Theater for Ars Nova, and Hundred Days at La Jolla Playhouse, where she is about to direct Lindsey Ferrentino's The Year to Come.[21]

She is a Sundance program associate, a usual suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, an alumna of the Soho Rep Writers and Directors Lab, a current member of Soho Rep's Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the Drama League of New York, a founding member of the Civilians, an associate artist with Clubbed Thumb and co-creator of the CT Directing Fellowship, and member of New Georges Kitchen Cabinet. From 2000 to 2006, Kauffman was on the directing faculty at NYU. Kauffman is an executive board member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Kauffman is the artistic director of New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center, and was the co-artistic director with Jeanine Tesori for the 2018 season. Encores! Off-Center has been on hiatus since 2020.

Kauffman directed the 2023 production of Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window starring Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She returned to Broadway directing its transfer at the James Earl Jones Theatre. She received a Drama League Award for her direction and the production received a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play nomination.

Theatre credits[edit]

Selected credits as a Director

Year Play Playwright Theatre
2016 A Life Hugh Leonard Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Off-Broadway
2017 Marvin's Room Scott McPherson American Airlines Theatre, Broadway
2017 Mary Jane Amy Herzog New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway
2022 The Bedwetter Sarah Silverman Linda Gross Theatre, Off-Broadway
2023 The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window Lorraine Hansberry Brooklyn Academy of Music, Off-Broadway
James Earl Jones Theatre, Broadway

Awards and honors[edit]

She has received the Lilly Award for directing in 2010, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Joan and Joseph Cullman award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, 2004 Big Easy Award, and Ambie Award (for The Children's Hour) in New Orleans.[22][23][24] She has received Philadelphia's Barrymore Award for Best Direction in 2010 for Becky Shaw, and in 2012 for Body Awareness.[25][26] Detroit by Lisa D'Amour was listed in the top 10 productions of 2012 by The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time and TimeOut NY.[27][28][29][30]

Year Associations Category Project Result Ref.
2015 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Direction of a Play You Got Older Nominated [31]
2023 Drama League Award Outstanding Direction of a Play The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window Won [32]
2011 Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Director This Wide Night Nominated [33]
2013 Outstanding Director Belleville Nominated [34]
2016 Outstanding Director Marjorie Prime Nominated [35]
2016 Outstanding Director A Life Nominated [36]
2018 Outstanding Direction of a Play Mary Jane Won [37]
2007 Obie Award Outstanding Direction of a Play The Thugs Won [38]
2015 Sustained Achievement Award Received [39]
2018 Outstanding Direction of a Play Mary Jane Won [40]


  1. ^ Kauffman" Archived 2013-08-31 at the Wayback Machine American Theatre Magazine, October 2007
  2. ^ Grode, Eric. "Meet the Directors" New York Times, January 31, 2013
  3. ^ a b Onofri, Adrienne. "BWW Interview: A Women's History Month Special [sic] with Director Anne Kauffman of 'SMOKEFALL'", March 9, 2016
  4. ^ Rosenfield, Wendy. Review: 'Body Awareness' at the Wilma", January 12, 2012
  5. ^ Act A Lady Archived 2017-03-08 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved March 7, 2017
  6. ^ Gutman, Les. "A CurtainUp Review. The Thugs " CurtainUp, October 5, 2006
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Champlin, Opel, Stuhlbarg, Sun and Miranda Among 2007 Obie Award Winners" Playbill, May 22, 2007
  8. ^ Zoglin, Richard. "Down and Out in Paris: Amy Herzog's 'Belleville'" Time, March 6, 2013
  9. ^ Jones, Chris. "Review. Belleville" Chicago Tribune, July 7, 2013
  10. ^ Green, Jesse. "Review: In 'Mary Jane,' a Young Mother Faces Her Worst Fears" The New York Times, September 25, 2017
  11. ^ Healy, Patrick. "Staging a Sisterhood". The New York Times, January 31, 2013
  12. ^ "INTERVIEW: Slowgirl's Anne Kauffman Takes a Direct Approach". TheaterMania, 2012
  13. ^ "The Go-To Two: Ken Rus Schmoll and Anne Kauffman ". The Village Voice February 4, 2009
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: Jennifer Haley's 'The Nether' Explores the Dark Side of the Web", The New York Times, February 24, 2015
  15. ^ Sommer, Elyse. "A CurtainUp Review. 'Marjorie Prime'", CurtainUp, accessed October 26, 2016
  16. ^ Levitt, Hayley. "Review. 'You Got Older' ", TheaterMania, November 6, 2014
  17. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: Songs Say What a Family Can't in 'Sundown, Yellow Moon' " The New York Times, March 14, 2017
  18. ^ Green, Jesse (13 July 2017). "Review: 'Assassins' Offers a National Anthem for Killers". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  19. ^ Green, Jesse (26 September 2017). "Review: In 'Mary Jane,' a Young Mother Faces Her Worst Fears". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  20. ^ Brantley, Ben (5 December 2017). "Review: Waltzing With Love and Death in 'Hundred Days'". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  21. ^ Green, Jesse (April 2018). "Review: The Chaos Beneath the Chorale in 'The Lucky Ones'". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  22. ^ "Lilly Awards" Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, 2010
  23. ^ [1] Archived 2013-11-01 at the Wayback Machine Theater Communications Guild, 2010
  24. ^ "Loyola's production of 'The Children's Hour' receives Big Easy Award for Best University Production" Loyola University Press Release, April 30, 2004
  25. ^ "Barrymore Awards", retrieved March 7, 2017
  26. ^ Fiorillo, Victor. "The End of the Barrymore Awards?" Philly Magazine, September 25, 2012
  27. ^ "New York Times top 10 for theater 2012" The New York Times
  28. ^ New York Magazine top 10 for theater 2012 New York Magazine
  29. ^ Zoglin, Richard. "Top 10 Everything of 2012" Time, December 4, 2012
  30. ^ of-2012?pageNumber=2 Time Out NY top 10 for theater 2012 Archived February 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew; Gioia, Michael. "Drama Desk Award Winners Announced; 'Hamilton' Wins Seven Awards", Playbill, May 31, 2015
  32. ^ "Anne Kauffman". Playbill. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  33. ^ This Wide Night,, accessed October 26, 2016
  34. ^ Belleville,, accessed October 26, 2016
  35. ^ Marjorie Prime,, accessed October 26, 2016
  36. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'Hadestown' and 'Sweeney Todd' Lead Lucille Lortel Nominations" Playbill, April 4, 2017
  37. ^ Mary Jane,, accessed August 14, 2018
  38. ^ "Obies, 2007", Village Voice, accessed October 26, 2016
  39. ^ "Obies, 2015", Village Voice, accessed October 26, 2016
  40. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Obie Awards Will Be Held in May at Webster Hall; Presenters Announced", Playbill, April 4, 2012

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