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New Directions is a commission program uniquely designed to offer development lab time for leading directors in our field with the resources to develop projects for possible future productions at Seattle Rep and beyond.

New Directions provides the opportunity to start new collaborations, strengthen our bonds with freelance directors we admire, and the chance for directors to ask deeper, bigger questions of themselves and their work. 

The inaugural director commissions include Donald Byrd, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Taibi Magar, and John Douglas Thompson in collaboration with Carey Perloff.

We want to more fully recognize the capacity of directors as generative artists. They take an idea and create a world. These commissions will support the work of exceptional directors at their earliest creative stages.

Braden Abraham, Artistic Director


Meet the Directors

Donald Byrd

Valerie Curtis-Newton

Taibi Magar

Carey Perloff

In Collaboration with John Douglas Thompson

John Douglas Thompson

In Collaboration with Carey Perloff

New Directions In the News

  • Artwork for Taibi Magar Knows Just What Needs to Change

    Taibi Magar Knows Just What Needs to Change

    "The pandemic pause has prompted a prizewinning cohort to ask hard questions about salaries, working in other media, and choosing collaboration over 'scarcity.'" Read on as The New York Times interviews four leading directors in the American theater, including New Directions commissionee Taibi Magar (Familiar, 2018).

  • Artwork for Connect Black Theaters, Nurture Black Playwrights

    Connect Black Theaters, Nurture Black Playwrights

    Commissionee Valerie Curtis-Newton's The Hansberry Project has partnered with True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia to launch The Drinking Gourd: Black Writers at Work, a "new play program that will create a network of Black theaters linked in the shared goal to co-commission, co-develop, and co-premiere the work of Black artists across the country" (True Colors). Hear from Curtis-Newton in a feature in The Seattle Times.

  • Artwork for Donald Byrd: Dance/USA 2021 Honor Award Recipient

    Donald Byrd: Dance/USA 2021 Honor Award Recipient

    "What I’m really interested in is trying to be relevant. It just so happens that some issues that I find relevant can also be topical." Read more from commissionee Donald Byrd in an interview with Dance/USA. It was announced in March 2021 that Byrd was the organization's 2021 Honor Award Recipient.

    Photo by Gabriel Bienczycki