Susan H. Schulman

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Susan H. Schulman is an American theater director.


Intent on a career as an actress, Schulman studied drama at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, New York in the 1960s. She attended Yale University on a playwrighting fellowship, graduating with a Master's Degree. While performing at the Buffalo Studio Arena Theatre, she was presented with her first opportunity to mount a production when the director of an adaptation of Wind in the Willows abruptly left the project.[1]

She was the resident director for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera from 1981 to 1989.[2][3][4] She became involved with several productions at the off-off-Broadway Equity Library Theatre in New York City,[1] including directing A Little Night Music in 1985.[5]

She directed the York Theatre Company production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 1989, which Sondheim happened to see.[6] Impressed by her work, he recommended her for the upcoming Broadway revival. She directed the 1989 Broadway revival, earning a Tony Award nomination as Best Director of a Musical.[7]She then directed the 1991 musical version of The Secret Garden on Broadway, which garnered her a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical.[8]

In 1994, she returned to the York Theatre Company to direct a revised version of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, which won her an Obie Award. [9]

For the New York City Center Encores! staged concerts, she directed Allegro in 1994,[10]The Boys From Syracuse in 1997[11] and A Connecticut Yankee in 2001.[12]

At Playwrights Horizons she directed Jack's Holiday in 1995 and Violet in 1997.[13] She was nominated for the 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Violet.[14]

In 1998, Schulman had directed a Broadway revival of The Sound of Music[15] when she was contacted by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked her to adapt a scaled-down production of Sunset Boulevard for a US tour starring Petula Clark. (A first attempt had been aborted due to exorbitant costs involved in transporting and time spent erecting the massive set.) The critically acclaimed run started in November 1998 in Pittsburgh and lasted seventeen months.[16][17]

In 2005, Schulman returned to Broadway to direct a musical adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott story Little Women, starring Sutton Foster as Jo and pop singer Maureen McGovern as Marmee. Although the production drew many mothers and daughters, mostly lackluster reviews prevented it from becoming a hit, and it closed after a five-month run. Following the Broadway closing, the production toured the US for a year.[18][19][20]

Schulman directed a musical adaptation of Peter Pan, set in contemporary times, with Kurt Browning in the title role, at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto , beginning in November 2007.[21][22]

Schulman's work for the Stratford Festival of Canada includes Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, The King and I (2003),[23] The Music Man (2008),[24] Hello, Dolly!, and a stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird (2007).[25][26] In summer 2008, under the auspices of the Festival, she conducted a two-week workshop of Clara's Piano, a blend of classical music and dance with music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill, based on Schulman's original concept.[27]

She directed the musical I Do! I Do! at the Westport Country Playhouse, starring Kate Baldwin and Lewis Cleale in August 2010.[28][29]

Schulman had been set to direct the new musical Stardust Road, based on the songs of Hoagy Carmichael at the St. James Theatre in London beginning in October 2015. However, that production has been postponed.[30][31]


Ms. Schulman is currently a professor at Penn State University where she heads the graduate directing program.[32] She directed a production of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" in the Fall of 2009 at Penn State's main campus.


  1. ^ a b "No Small Feat Bringing Life To Broadway's 'Little Women'", Vol. 18 No. 2, Spring 2005
  2. ^ Fliotsos, Anne L. and Vierow, Wendy. "Schulman, Susan H." American Women Stage Directors of the Twentieth Century, University of Illinois Press, 2008, ISBN 0252032268, p. 379
  3. ^ "Biography", accessed October 15, 2015
  4. ^ "Schulman Credits", accessed October 15, 2015
  5. ^ "Theater listing" New York Magazine, May 6, 1985, p. 106
  6. ^ "'Sweenry Todd', 1989", accessed October 14, 2015
  7. ^ "'Sweeney Todd' 1989 Broadway", accessed October 14, 2015
  8. ^ "'The Secret Garden' 1991 Broadway", accessed October 14, 2015
  9. ^ "Merrily We Roll Along' 1994", accessed October 14, 2015
  10. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Review/Theater. 'Allegro'" New York Times, March 5, 1994
  11. ^ Kissel, Howard. "Encore For Encores! 'Syracuse' Rich Revival Will Have You 'Falling In Love' With Rodgers & Hart" New York Daily News, May 3, 1997
  12. ^ "'A Connecticut Yankee' Holds Court at Encores!, Feb. 8-11" Playbill, February 2001
  13. ^ "Schulman Off-Broadway", accessed October 14, 2015
  14. ^ "Drama Desk Picks Performers, Presenters & Venue, May 18" Playbill, May 13, 1997
  15. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review; Sweetness, Light and Lederhosen" New York Times March 13, 1998
  16. ^ Shirley, Don. Cruising Along 'Sunset'" Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1999
  17. ^ Simonson, Robert. "New 'Sunset Boulevard Tour Sets Dates Through May" Playbill, May 4, 1998
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Ready to Astonish, Little Women Tour Has Its Jo and Laurie",, July 14, 2005
  19. ^ Cain, Scott.Review of tour, Cincinnati, June 15, 2006
  20. ^ "'Little Women, the Broadway Musical' Listing, accessed November 29, 2010
  21. ^ Peter Pan at Archived August 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Ouzounian, Richard. "'Peter Pan' panto panned" The Star, November 30, 2007
  23. ^ Tannenbaum, Perry. "Stratford and Shaw Festivals", July 4, 2003
  24. ^ Lessard, Cassie. "'The Music Man' is a Sweet Swindler – Stratford Festival", June 28, 2008
  25. ^ Susan H. Schulman at Archived August 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "Stratford season offers musical feast", June 24, 2007
  27. ^ Clara's Piano at
  28. ^ Listing, accessed July 24, 2010
  29. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Kate Baldwin and Lewis Cleale Say 'I Do! I Do!' at Westport Beginning Aug. 10" Playbill, August 10, 2010
  30. ^ Shenton, Mark. "Susan H. Schulman To Direct the World Premiere of Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Road at London's St. James Theatre in October" Playbill, May 7, 2015
  31. ^ Shenton, Mark. "World Premiere of Hoagy Carmichael's 'Stardust Road' Postponed" Playbill, August 12, 2015
  32. ^ "Susan Schulman" Penn State, accessed June 27, 2016

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