“It is a rare and wonderful feeling to be in a collaborative room with fellow directors. The Directors Lab is not a place where people are vying for opportunities—it is truly about learning from one another—and creating a community for the exchange of ideas.”
– Daniella Topol, Director and Artistic Director, Rattlestick Theater
WP’s Directors Lab is the oldest director’s group in New York City and has served over 225 members since it was founded in 1983 as the Directors Forum. The Lab allows members to network and discuss directorial techniques and trends in the field, while creating collaborative relationships with members of the Playwrights and Producers Labs.
Melissa Crespo is a New York based director who enjoys directing everything from classical to new plays, as well as musicals and operas. Melissa is most known for Vid Guerrerio’s ¡Figaro! (90210), a modern day adaptation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro which had it's world premiere at LA Opera and most recently ran at The Duke on 42nd Street. She also directed the undiscovered masterpiece Voodoo, a Harlem Renaissance opera by H. Lawrence Freeman that "soared" according to The Guardian. Melissa directed the most recent incarnation of Tar Baby written and performed by Desiree Burch with Dan Kitrosser.Tar Baby was awarded the prestigious Scotsman Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and recently performed at the Auckland Festival in New Zealand and London's VAULT Festival where it was awarded the “Pick of the Week.” Upcoming productions include Kieran Lynn’s Crossing the Line (Amphibian Stage Productions), Karen Zacarías’ Destiny of Desire (Garden Theatre) and Bread and Roses, a new musical by Jill Abramovitz and Brad Alexander (NYMF reading). Melissa has served as the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre, a member of the The Civilian’s R&D Group, and is a Drama League Directing Fellow alum where she directed the world premiere of Maggie-Kate Coleman's The Map of Lost Things while in residence at the Hangar Theatre. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and directed for the 2015 ABC Talent Showcase. Melissa received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama. Contact: Alexis Williams, Bret Adams Ltd. http://melissacrespo.com
Morgan Gould is a theater writer/ director/ producer who has previously held staff positions at Playscripts, Inc., Lark Play Development Center, Cape Cod Theatre Project, and Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, where Morgan co-created UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW (BAC/PS 122) and worked alongside Young Jean on the premieres of LEAR (Soho Rep) and WE'RE GONNA DIE (Joe's Pub/ LCT3) and tours of PULLMAN WA and THE SHIPMENT. Morgan is a member at Ensemble Studio Theatre, a New Georges affiliated artist (where she was a participant in their emerging writer/ director lab from 2010-2014), an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, the Stage Director's & Choreographers Foundation Observership Program, the Target Margin Theater's Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, The Civilians R + D Group, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Playwrights Horizons Directing Residency Programs. She was an 11-12 BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) AIR with playwright Matthew Paul Olmos and a 12-13 Space Grant Recipient. In 2012, Morgan created her own theater company with 7 actors and 3 designers, Morgan Gould & Friends. MG&F makes satirical work that asks questions about tropes and cliches in storytelling and its impact on identity in America...at least that's what we write in grants. Their work has been featured in and at the New Ohio/ Ice Factory Festival (where the New York Times lauded it “clever”—calling it “soap opera silliness and beyond!”), Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Lyceum, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, CAP21, BAX, New Georges, and The Culture Project. Morgan most recently directed the Off-Broadway premiere of KENTUCKY by Leah Nanako Winkler (EST/ P73), and wrote, directed (with Nate Trinrud), and produced THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN WEBSERIES (release date August 2016). B.A. in Directing, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, M.F.A. in Playwriting, Brooklyn College. Winner of the 2016 Beatrice Terry/ Drama League Residency Award for a promising female writer/ director. Morgan’s most recent play I WANNA FUCKING TEAR YOU APART will have its world premiere as part of Studio Theatre’s (Washington D.C.) 2016-17 season. www.morgangouldandfriends.com.
Ellie Heyman (Director) is a NYC theater director. Credits include: The Traveling Imaginary, theatrical rock show with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated "Top 5 shows of the year" by NPR; narrative podcast The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air) featuring John Cameron Mitchell, Tim Robbins, and Mandy Patinkin, downloaded over 2 million times and rated #1 in iTunes (Night Vale Presents); Jason Craig & Dave Malloy's Beardo (Pipeline Theater) Erin Markey: Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theater); Becca Blackwell's They, Themself and Schmerm,(Under the Radar/The Public Theater); Adrienne Truscott's THIS (NYLA). International credits include: Elevation 506 in Bulgaria with Yasen Vasilev and Home/Yuva in Istanbul with Sami Berat Marcali. Her work has been presented by The Public Theater/Joe’s Pub, New York Theater Workshop, The Kennedy Center, Abrons Art Center, The Bushwick Starr, Banana, Bag & Bodice, La Mama, New World Stages, The Drama League, Big Theater, Boston Center for American Performance, The Laguardia Performing Arts Center, NYLA, En Garde Arts, and indie rock clubs across America. She is a graduate of Northwestern and Boston Universities (MFA), a Drama League Directing Fellow, a Drama League Artist in Residence, and a Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theatre. ellieheyman.com
Tyne Rafaeli was born in London and trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Columbia University. She has directed classics, new plays and musicals in London and the US. Recent productions include: EURYDICE by Sarah Ruhl (American Players Theatre), LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Great Lakes Theatre / Idaho Shakespeare Festival), OTHELLO (Classic Stage Company). Her work has been seen at: Classic Stage Company, New York Stage & Film, The Atlantic Theatre, The Julliard School, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Realm, Great Lakes Theatre, American Players Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and PlayPenn, amongst others.
She has served as Associate Director on THE KING & I (Lincoln Center Theatre), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, GOLDEN BOY (all Broadway), WOMEN ON THE VERGE (London’s West End), and she directed the 1st US National Tour of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY opening at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Tyne was awarded the 2013/14 SDCF Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classical Direction.Upcoming projects include THE BURDENS by Matt Schatz at the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, CHASING RAINBOWS at Goodspeed Opera and THE LION IN WINTER at Two River Theatre. See more at: www.tynerafaeli.com.
Originally from China, Mo Zhou is a theater and opera director based in New York City. She is currently the 2050 Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop as well as the James Marcus Opera Directing Fellow at the Juilliard School, where she apprentices alongside Stephen Wadsworth. Prior to that, she has worked at Wolf Trap Opera, the Merola Opera Program with San Francisco Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Williamstown Theater Festival.
As an assistant director, Ms. Zhou has worked with Mary Zimmerman, Peter Kazaras, Nic Muni, Robert Longbottom, and among others. As the winner of the 2013 biannual OPERA America Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designers Showcase, Ms. Zhou presented her new production concept of Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah" at the annual Opera Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The final model and renderings are on exhibit in the design showcase at the National Opera Center in New York City.
Ms. Zhou graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in English and received her MFA degree in stage directing from Columbia University, under the tutelage of Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick. www.mo-zhou.com
Time Warner Foundation, Inc. provides leadership support of Lab artists and new play development at WP Theater.