Tina Landau

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Tina Landau
Tina Landau, May 2018.jpg
Landau in 2018
Born (1962-05-21) May 21, 1962 (age 61)
Education Yale University (BA)
Harvard University (MFA)

Tina Landau (born May 21, 1962) is an American playwright and theatre director. Known for her large-scale, musical, and ensemble-driven work, Landau's productions have appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally, most extensively at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago where she is an ensemble member.


Early life

Born in New York City to film and television producers Edie and Ely Landau, Landau moved with her family to Beverly Hills, California, where she graduated from Beverly Hills High School before attending Yale University, where she directed numerous productions as an undergraduate. She later attended the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Her family is of Jewish background. [1] [2]


Landau's early work included site specific productions with New York City's En Garde Arts, including Orestes and The Trojan Women: A Love Story, both by Charles L. Mee, as well as her original play "Stonewall: Night Variations." Floyd Collins , with a book by Landau and a score by Adam Guettel, opened off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1996. Landau was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical, and the production won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical. A later version of the show played at San Diego's Old Globe Theater, The Goodman Theater in Chicago, and The Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia (where it was originally commissioned and produced.)

In 1997, she became a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she has directed numerous productions including The Wheel, The Hot L Baltimore, Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays and Head of Passes, The Tempest , The Time of Your Life (which later moved to Seattle Rep and A.C.T.), The Diary of Anne Frank , The Cherry Orchard , Theatrical Essays, Time to Burn, Berlin Circle, and The Ballad of Little Jo.

She made her Broadway debut directing the 2001 revival of Bells Are Ringing with Faith Prince, and in 2009 she returned to Broadway with the Steppenwolf production of Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts . In February 2015 Nickelodeon announced that she had been tapped to co-adapt and direct SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical , a stage adaptation of SpongeBob SquarePants . [3] The show opened on Broadway on December 4, 2017. [4] For SpongeBob SquarePants, Landau was nominated for the 2018 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical at the 72nd Tony Awards. She won Best Director of a Musical at both the 2018 Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the production won for Best Musical in both awards as well. [5] [6]

Landau's other New York City directing credits include Old Hats (with Bill Irwin and David Shiner) at the Signature Theater, Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas at New York Theatre Workshop, Charles L. Mee’s Iphigenia 2.0 at the Signature, Dream True, Mary Rose, Miracle Brothers and Wig Out!, all at the Vineyard Theater, as well as In the Red and Brown Water, Space, and Saturn Returns all at The Public Theater.

Landau's many other regional credits include Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage, A Midsummer Night's Dream at the McCarter Theater and Paper Mill Playhouse, Of Thee I Sing at Papermill, The Cure at Troy at Seattle Rep, Zack Zadek's Deathless at Goodspeed Musicals, [7] [8] and the musical Dave at Arena Stage.

In addition to Floyd Collins, Landau's writing includes book and lyrics for Dream True and States of Independence, both with scores by Ricky Ian Gordon, the plays Beauty at La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Critics Best Play), Space at Steppenwolf, the Public, and the Mark Taper Forum (TIME magazine Top Ten), Stonewall: Night Variations, and 1969 (or Howie Takes a Trip). With Anne Bogart, Landau has co-authored The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. [9]

Landau has taught at Yale University and the Yale School of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, [10] University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Columbia University.

Awards and recognition

Landau was named one of the "Out 100 of 2009" by OUT Magazine. Landau was named a 2007 USA Ford Fellow and granted $50,000 by United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America's top living artists. [11] Landau received a 2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical for SpongeBob SquarePants at the 72nd Tony Awards. [12] She won awards for Best Direction of a Musical at the 2018 Drama Desk Awards, Drama League Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards as well.[ citation needed ]

In 2022, Landau was featured in the book 50 Key Figures in Queer US Theatre, with a profile written by theatre scholar David Román. [13]


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  2. Pat Sierchio (March 1, 2010). "Producer Landau: Interpreter of Dreams". JewishJournal.com . Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  3. "SpongeBob musical has eye on Broadway". Entertainment Weekly . 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
  4. SpongeBob Squarepants The New York Times, November 22, 2017
  5. "68th Annual Awards Outer Critics Circle Announce 2017-18 Award Winners! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" Tops Win List with 6 Awards!". outercritics.org. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved Apr 27, 2019.
  6. Staff, Playbill (Jun 3, 2018). "SpongeBob SquarePants Leads 2018 Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Retrieved Apr 27, 2019.
  7. Hetrick, Adam. "Jennifer Damiano and Jessica Phillips to Lead Goodspeed's Deathless | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  8. Rickwald, Bethany. "Tina Landau Dives Into a 'Deathless' Future in Zack Zadek's New Musical" theatermania.com, June 2, 2017
  9. Anne Bogart; Tina Landau (1 August 2004). The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. Theatre Communications Group. ISBN   978-1-55936-677-9.
  10. "Tina Landau information Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine artscapemedia.com, accessed February 20, 2009
  11. Listings for USA Ford Fellow Archived 2008-03-28 at the Wayback Machine unitedstatesartists.org
  12. Fierberg, Ruthie. "25 Days Of Tonys How Does Director Tina Landau Describe 'Spongebobsquarepants'" Playbill, May 23, 2018
  13. Román, David (2022). "Tina Landau". In Noriega and Schildcrout (ed.). 50 Key Figures in Queer US Theatre. Routledge. pp. 123–126. ISBN   978-1032067964.