Interview with Diane Paulus
When we walked into Diane Paulus’ rehearsal room at The New 42nd Street Studios, there were a lot of women in it. Okay, to clarify, yes, Emma and I added two more women to the room, but there were a lot of women in the rehearsal room. It’s something that one would think we’d be past commenting on by now, but I bring it up because it’s actually still rare enough to be comment worthy. The play being rehearsed was Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World, which is premiering at A.R.T. where Diane is Artistic Director. This season, she’s the director of Waitress on Broadway, which is making headlines for having an all-female creative team. She’s also represented on Broadway by last season’s Finding Neverland. Other Broadway credits include Hair, Porgy and Bess, and Pippin. For Pippin she won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical, making her only the third woman to be awarded theatre’s highest honor for direction of a musical. Shortly before opening night of Waitress, while women got ready for rehearsal around us, we talked to Diane about her directing process for Waitress, the challenges of directing theatre in 2016, her work as artistic director of A.R.T., audience engagement, and more.