Each semester, the Department of Theatre offers seminars or master classes with actors, directors, designers, and other theatre artists who have worked on Broadway and Off Broadway. NU Broadway is designed to help students learn more about New York theatre with special focus on the new generation of Broadway theatre artists.
The first NU Broadway guest artist for 2018-19 will be alumnus Saheem Ali ’03. He will be the focus of a seminar on Directing for the Stage on Friday, October 26 from 1:35-3:15 pm in the Ryder Theatre Lab.
Born in Kenya, Ali is one the most sought-after young directors in the U.S. He has enjoyed a successful career working on and off Broadway as well as at theatres nationwide. Last year he was the subject of a New York Times profile.
His next project is Passage by Chris Chen at NYC’s Soho Rep. 2018 projects included: Fireflies by Donja Love (Atlantic Theater, NYC), Dangerous House by Jen Silverman (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds by Donja Love (Manhattan Theatre Club, NYC), and Tartuffe by Molière (Playmakers REP, NC). He was Associate Director of The Tempest starring Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at the Public Theatre/Shakespeare in Central Park, and he worked with George Wolfe (The Normal Heart) and Michael Greif (Angels in America). Other directing credits include the New York Theatre Workshop, Lincoln Center, Cherry Lane, National Black Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and Signature Theatre.
Ali has said: “My undergraduate education at NU’s Theatre Department was instrumental in launching me into the professional world in New York. The combination of theoretical in-class learning, practical rehearsal and performance, and experiential co-op opportunities equipped me with the tools that I needed to enter the professional arena. I look back at my time in the Theatre Department as the essential foundation to my career as a director.”
2016 Tony Award-winner Renée Elise Goldsberry visited Northeastern in spring 2017. Ms. Goldberry received the Tony, the Drama Desk Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler Church in cultural phenomenon Hamilton. Goldsberry first gained critical attention for her performance as Sylvia in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League Award). She originated the role of Nettie in The Color Purple and was the final actress on Broadway to play Mimi in Rent. Read what the students said about her master class.
In all 2017, NU Broadway welcomed composer Larry O’Keefe. Mr. O’Keefe won the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical for Bat Boy: The Musical, which ran off-Broadway from March 3 to December 2, 2001, followed by over 500 regional and amateur productions all over the USA. In addition to a Q&A with Theatre majors and minors, Mr. O’Keefe visited with members of NU Stage Musical Theatre Society, who were getting ready for their own production of his musical Heathers. Mr. O’Keefe and his collaborator Nell Benjamin also wrote Legally Blonde: The Musical, which ran on Broadway for a year and a half.
In fall 2016 NU Broadway guests included 2016 Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel who directed the Broadway productions of Hand to God, which received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Play, a London Olivier Award nomination, and Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for outstanding production; and the 2017 Tony Award-winning revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter starring two-time Tony award-winner and Academy Award-winner Kevin Kline.