Corkscrew Theater Festival

I'm one of the founders of the brand-new Corkscrew Theater Festival, running August 7-September 3rd at the Paradise Factory. The festival centers on exciting and unusual collaborative models and artists who are redefining traditional creative roles. Five productions, five works-in-progress readings, and a beautiful community of young theater creators making it happen! 


I directed a workshop of Zachary Small's new play Autoportrait in Dixon Place's HOT! Festival this July as part of the Leslie-Lohman Museum's inaugural space grant program. In March, I had staged the middle section of the play in Irondale Ensemble's "Not Normal" Series. The play confronts the "closed loop" of lies and narrow thinking that plague our country and imagines how to break from all that and look ahead to a future queer utopia.


John-Michael Lyles and the Songwriter's Orchestra (PC: Jo Chiang)

chains don't rattle themselves

Inspired by the forthcoming memoir by Dathonie Pinto

I conceived and directed this song-cycle concert for youth criminal justice reform in a special collaboration between The Songwriter's Orchestra and Herstory Writers Workshop. The concert featured autobiographical stories shared by writers whose lives have been directly affected by this issue, as well as original songs adapted from their stories by singer/songwriters including Brinae Ali (Shuffle Along), Olivia Harris, Zhailon Levingston (iLLA), John-Michael Lyles (Barrow Street's Sweeney Todd), Taylor Simone (of Jazz Belle), Britton Smith (Shuffle Along), and Allison Strong (Mamma Mia). In bringing the concert to Long Island and Manhattan, we mobilized widespread audiences to take direct action supporting RaiseTheAgeNY, a campaign that seeks to stop NY State from prosecuting 16- and 17- year olds as adults.



Finally, I'm beginning new development with actor/writer Shelley Farmer on You Can't Kiss a Movie, a theatre piece exploring the relationship between film and theatre, movie musical and stage musical, and especially between female film stars and the dreaded male gaze. 

summer/Fall 2016

Fantasy Falls

In September, I directed an excerpt of Greg Edwards and Ben Green's original musical Fantasy Falls as part of a showcase for the Dramatist Guild 2016-2017 Fellows. Cast included Kelvin Moon Loh, Joe Medeiros, and Charlie Pollock. Pictures and more info here!

Not related to a show I worked on, but I wrote a response to Taylor Mac's 24 Hour marathon show, A 24 Decade History of Popular Music. Read it here.

Directors lab chicago

I participated in the exciting week-long DirectorsLabChicago program in late August, which gathers a group of 20 directors for discussions and rehearsals centered around a particular theme. This year, it was "un/spoken: Languages of the Stage."

You Can't Kiss a movie

You Can't Kiss a Movie: Songs from the French New Wave, an original cabaret I directed and co-wrote, premiered at the Metropolitan Room on June 16th. Created with performer Shelley Farmer and musicians Daniel Lazour and Michael Gildin, the show is a cinematic cabaret inspired by the revolutionary films of the French New Wave.


In early July, I directed a staged reading of the screenplay for the classic 1985 film Clue as a fundraiser for Battalion Theatre at 61 Local.


EARLY 2016


Hannah Kloepfer and Tessa Slovis' cabaret Swipe Right/Swipe Left: A Humiliating and Empowering Return to Dating played to a sold out audience in its new, full-length form at Feinstein's/54 Below on Wednesday, April 6th. The show, directed by me, highlighted songs by female songwriters from Jeanine Tesori to Patti Smith to the Dixie Chicks.


In January/February, I assistant directed Straight, a new play starring Jake Epstein, Jenna Gavigan, and Thomas E. Sullivan, at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row. The show ran through May 8th. Straight was directed by Andy Sandberg and written by Scott Elmegreen & Drew Fornarola.