DirectorFest: May 3rd-11th

Previews May 3-8th Opening Night May 9th

Run time is 60 Minutes plus a talkback with the Directors following each performance

For four decades, The Drama League has celebrated the world’s greatest rising directors in this one-of-a-kind festival. Now, in collaboration with the producers Keen Company, we are excited to welcome you into the vivid imaginations of Nadia Guevara and Ibi Owolabi The Drama League’s Stage Directing Fellows, who follow in the tradition by staging works by two of America’s most acclaimed playwrights Lynn Nottage and Cassandra Medley. Join us for the exciting debut of two major new talents in the American theater!

Photo from DirectorFest 2018: Pork Kidneys to Soothe Despair directed by Rebecca Martínez. Photo by Erik Carter.


IBI OWOLABI  (she/her) is an Atlanta-based director. Her work has been seen at 7 Stages, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Theatre Emory, The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, and the DC Black Theatre Festival. Ibi graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in theatre, and was awarded the SDC Fellowship her sophomore year. Post-graduation, she moved to Actor’s Express for a directing internship, and then went on to become the Kenny Leon Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Ibi directed several Zoom productions, including Well-Intentioned White People, Good Bad People, White-Ish, Stew, and Faith. Ibi’s recent in-person productions include These Shining Lives at USC, The Bluest Eye at Synchronicity Theatre, and Intimate Apparel at Actor’s Express. She is also a producer for Weird Sisters Theatre Project, a mixed media production company by women, for everyone.

NADIA GUEVARA¬†(she/her) Directing credits include:¬†Fefu and Her Friends¬†(American University Guest Director),¬†N¬†(Keegan Theatre),¬†Palabras de encanto: Tales of Borik√©n¬†(The Academy for Classical Acting at Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University),¬†Little Women¬†(Johns Hopkins University Barnstormers),¬†Guadalupe in the Guest Room¬†and¬†Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Fairy Tale¬†(NVA),¬†El encuentro¬†(Old Globe Arts Engagement). Readings:¬†Madre de Dios¬†(Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Fest),¬†L’H√ĒTEL¬†(Fulton Theatre Stories in Diversity Playwriting Fest),¬†Azul¬†(San Diego Repertory Theatre Latinx New Play Festival). Associate/Assistant Director:¬†Show Way¬†(Kennedy Center, dir. Schele Williams),¬†Daphne‚Äôs Dive¬†(Signature Theatre, dir. Paige Hernandez),¬†Acoustic Rooster‚Äôs Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume¬†(Kennedy Center, dir. Lili-Anne Brown),¬†Put Your House In Order¬†(La Jolla Playhouse, dir. Lili-Anne Brown). Proud recipient of the 2022-2024 Drama League Stage Directing Fellowship. @nadiaguevaradc.¬†

Cell by Cassandra Medley

Directed by Nadia Guevara

When a jaded supervisor at an immigrant detention center finds jobs there for her sister and niece, family tensions erupt into a battle over home and homeland security.



Poof! by Lynn Nottage

Directed by Ibi Owolabi

When a housewife comes to the end of her rope with her abusive husband, she doesn’t expect him to spontaneously combust. Now she has a pile of ashes on the floor, and a life to reclaim.


Produced by Keen Company

In Collaboration with the Drama League

DirectorFest is produced by Keen Company (Jonathan Silverstein, Artistic Director), presented in collaboration by The Drama League of New York, Inc. (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Artistic Director; Bevin Ross, Executive Director), DirectorFest is also part of The Drama League Stage Directing Fellowships, an educational partnership between The Drama League of New York, Inc., Keen Company (Jonathan Silverstein, Artistic Director), Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Chris Jennings, Executive Director; Nicki Hunter, Associate Artistic Director), Playwright’s Center (Nicole A. Watson, Producing Artistic Director; Robert Chelimsky, Managing Director), New York Stage & Film (Liz Carlson, Interim Artistic Director), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Tom Parrish, Managing Director), Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Artistic Director), and major support provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, the Sylvia W. & Randle M. Kauders Foundation, the Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Leo Shull Charitable Fund for the Arts, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Drama League programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.