Diane Paulus

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Diane Paulus
Born1966 (age 52–53)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Columbia University (MFA)
Randy Weiner (m. 1995)
WebsiteOfficial website

Diane Marie Paulus (born 1966 in New York City, USA) is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University,[1] and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is an American director of both theater and opera[2] Paulus was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for her revival of Hair, and won the award in 2013 for her revival of Pippin. She has received the 2009 Harvard College Women’s Leadership Award and the Columbia University IAL Diamond Award.[3]


Paulus attended the Brearley School, studied dance at New York City Ballet and trained in classical piano.[2] In 1988, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University/Radcliffe College with a bachelor's degree in Social Studies and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[4] She earned a master's degree from the Columbia University School of the Arts.[2]


Paulus and her husband, Randy Weiner, along with a few other theater school graduates established a small theater troupe in New York City called Project 400 Theatre Group.[2][5] With Project 400, Paulus and Weiner specialized in creating avant-garde musical productions which married classic theater and modern music.[6] Paulus' first production with the group was a rock version of The Tempest.[6] Other productions included an R&B Phaedra and a hip-hop Lohengrin.[6] In collaboration with Weiner, Paulus co-created The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which ran off-Broadway from 1999 to 2005.[7] Critics cited the production as an example of a trend in which edgy avant-garde theater had become fashionably mainstream.[8]

American Repertory Theater[edit]

In May 2008, Paulus was named the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater (affiliated with Harvard University). The American Repertory Theater chose Paulus after a 16-month search to replace Robert Brustein in an effort to revitalize the program.[9] Paulus' first production was a revival of The Donkey Show.[7] Paulus previously taught courses at Columbia University and Yale University.[9]

Paulus was selected by the magazine American Theatre as one of the 25 theatre artists who were asked to share their vision of coming developments in the next 25 years in the theatre world.[10] In her comments she talks about her goal to "revolutionize" the theatre experience by making it more interactive, letting the audience participate and making theatre content more "open source." She has also argued that theater has the power to make people more compassionate and cooperative citizens.[11]

In 2010, Paulus directed Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon), an opera by Joseph Haydn, in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. A Gotham Chamber Opera, in partnership with the Museum and in association with American Repertory Theater, Paulus' production fused live opera and stargazing using the 180-degree dome with projections courtesy of NASA.[12]

Paulus was slated to direct Paul Simon's The Capeman at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park for the Public Theater in August 2010.[13]

In 2011 she staged a production of the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess at the American Repertory Theater, which moved to Broadway in 2012. The production was nominated for 10 awards in the 2012 Tony Awards, winning Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Audra McDonald. The production ran through September 23, 2012.[14] It played 322 performances, 17 more than the 1953 revival, making it the longest-running production of Porgy and Bess on Broadway.[15]

In 2012, Paulus directed a production of Pippin for the American Repertory Theater. She cast a woman, Patina Miller, in the part of Leading Player, originated by Ben Vereen. The production opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, on April 25, 2013.[16] Paulus won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, becoming the third woman to win the award after Julie Taymor in 1998 and Susan Stroman in 2001.[17]

In 2015, Paulus directed the new musical Waitress, based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly. The music was written by six-time Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. The production was notable after it moved to Broadway and became the first Broadway musical with an all female creative team.[18] The musical was nominated for four Tony Awards and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It is currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater and on US National Tour.


Paulus was born in New York City in 1966, the daughter of a New York television producer and Japanese mother. Her parents met while her father was stationed in Japan after World War II.[19][20] On October 1, 1995, she married fellow Harvard graduate Randy Weiner.[4] They have two daughters.

Selected works directed[edit]

  • Another Country by James Baldwin at Riverside Church
  • Turandot: Rumble for the Ring at the Bay Street Theatre.
  • The Golden Mickeys for Disney Creative Entertainment.
  • The Karaoke Show, an adaptation of Comedy of Errors set in a karaoke bar, produced by Jordan Roth Productions.
  • Running Man by jazz composer and frequent collaborator Diedre Murray and poet Cornelius Eady.
  • Brutal Imagination.
  • At Chicago Opera Theater: Le Nozze Di Figaro, Turn Of The Screw, Cosi Fan Tutte, and all three Monteverdi opera, Il Ritorno D’Ulisse In Patria, L’Incoronazione Di Poppea, and Orfeo.[21]
  • Amaluna The 2012 Cirque Du Soleil touring show.[22]
  • Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, an opera written by Tod Machover incorporating robots on stage.

American Repertory Theater[edit]


  • Invisible Thread(formerly Witness Uganda)
  • Swimming with Watermelons, created in association with Project 400, the theater company she co-founded with her husband Randy Weiner.
  • The Obie-award winning Eli's Comin, featuring the music and lyrics of Laura Nyro.
  • The 40th Anniversary Concert Production of Hair at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park for the Public Theater as well as the subsequent production of Hair on Broadway which won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director.
  • The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which ran off-Broadway from 1999 to 2005. It was revived in 2009 for Paulus' first production as director of the ART.[7]


  1. ^ "Diane Paulus appointed artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre". Harvard Gazette. 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  2. ^ a b c d Colleen Walsh, "Paulus reaches beyond boards", Harvard Gazette, 23 April 2009
  3. ^ "HAIR Director Diane Paulus Receives I.A.L Diamond Award 5/2 At Varsity Show", Broadway.com, 1 May 2009
  4. ^ a b "Weddings; Diane M. Paulus, Randy Weiner", The New York Times, October 1, 1995
  5. ^ Ricky Spears, "Quick Wit: Anna Wilson " Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, TheaterMania, 7 July 2000
  6. ^ a b c Eric V. Copage, "Not Your Mother's Musical, and That's the Point", The New York Times, 6 September 1999
  7. ^ a b c Megan Tench, "Disco inferno", The Boston Globe, August 23, 2009
  8. ^ Arnold Aronson, American Avant-garde Theatre: A History, Routledge; 1 ed. (2000), p.207
  9. ^ a b Celia McGee, "Harvard’s Not-So-Square New Director", The New York Times, August 13, 2008
  10. ^ "An Eye on the Future" Archived 2010-03-13 at the Wayback Machine American Theatre magazine, April 2009
  11. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor. "How Theater Can Contribute to Peaceful Coexistence". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  12. ^ Video of Il mondo della luna simsscoop.com
  13. ^ Shakespeare in the Park web site, retrieved 7/12/2010
  14. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Tony-Winning 'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess' Will Conclude Broadway Run Sept. 23", Playbill.com, July 18, 2012
  15. ^ "Breaking News: The Gershwin's PORGY & BESS Moves Broadway Closing Up to September 23, 2012". Broadway World. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  16. ^ Gioia, Michael.'Pippin' Finds "Glory" in Diane Paulus' Cirque-Inspired Broadway Revival, Opening April 25 playbill.com, April 25, 2013
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew. Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, April 30, 2013
  18. ^ Kao, Joanna (2016-03-25). "'Waitress' Is Making Broadway History With Its All-Female Creative Team". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  19. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (21 January 2011). "The Big Interview with Diane Paulus". thestar.com. The Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  20. ^ Pacheco, Patrick (4 May 2015). "How Diane Paulus' Kids Inspired Her for 'Finding Neverland'". Gotham. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  21. ^ a b DIANE PAULUS - Biography
  22. ^ "Concepteurs". Cirque Du Soleil. Retrieved January 30, 2012.

External links[edit]