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The Drama League Announces Season 2 Of "TA(L)KING DIRECTION" Podcast

The Drama League Announces Season 2 Of "TA(L)KING DIRECTION" Podcast

(NEW YORK, NY) -- The Drama League has announced Season 2 of its digital series, TA(L)KING DIRECTION: The Drama League Podcast. After a successful first season of 25 in-depth interviews addressing the stories and experiences of world-renowned artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, season two will explore the changing state of the theatre industry and its early steps towards re-emergence in 2021, with an all-star lineup of directors, producers, and artists in conversation with the industry's leaders and educators. Since 1916, The Drama League has been at the forefront of the American Theater community, advancing the art form by providing a life-long artistic home for directors and a platform for dialogue with, and between, audiences.

"Connecting theater practitioners to each other, and to audiences, has never been more challenging or necessary than in the moment we find ourselves right now," said The Drama League's Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. "'TA(L)KING DIRECTION' has been one of our great joys in addressing those challenges. Each episode offers powerful thoughts from the great minds in our field, reaching thousands of people across the globe as we together share, reveal, explore, and dream a future for theater unlike anything we've seen before."

Appearing weekly between now and June, TA(L)KING DIRECTION Season 2 will feature interviews with arts industry leaders, including directors Saheem Ali, David Cromer, Colette Robert, Danny Sharron, Leigh Silverman, prestigious producers Philip Arnoult, Jacob Padrón, artistic directors Shelley Butler, West Hyler, Yury Urnov, and many more.

"The new season begins with 'DIRECONOMICS,' a three-episode exploration of the financials of theater and the class divisions built into its roots," said Associate Artistic Director Nilan, who also serves as the producer of TA(L)KING DIRECTION. "In this sprawling conversation, directors gather to discuss the importance of tackling inequity on Broadway including how artists, producers, and patrons can work together to create a more sustainable and just industry."

Leigh Silverman, known for directing critically-acclaimed shows on and off Broadway such From Up Here, Violet, and Soft Power, joins this riveting season-premiere episode to expand on her perspective as a female director and to sheds light on the importance of cultivating young talent in the field. 

Here's an excerpt by Silverman from the premiere: "One of the most difficult things about being a director is that you don't have a deliverable, you need all kinds of other people. You can't just sit in your room and practice your instrument, you can't work out, you know, to stay limber. You need people to keep you developing your craft. So what are the ways that young directors right now can be given opportunities and help to keep practicing their craft, so that this time [pandemic] is not emotional, financial, spiritual, professional apathy." 


TA(L)KING DIRECTION SEASON 2 EPISODES: January 13, 20 and 27 - Direconomics: Part 1, 2, and 3 Featuring Saheem Ali, David Cromer, Jacob Padrón, Colette Robert, Leigh Silverman, and Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. Hosted by Danny Sharron. Produced by Nilan.

February 3 - Educating For The Future: Undergraduate Programs in the Midwest/South Featuring Matt Schwader (Avila University), Douglas Finlayson (Webster University), Paul Gatrell (Belmont University), and Mark Castle (Samford University). Hosted and produced by Nilan.

February 24 - Artistic Stamp: Theater In Your Mailbox Featuring West Hyler and Shelley Butler. Hosted by Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. Produced by Nilan.

March 10 - Classical Theater Fellow: Emma Rose Went Featuring Emma Rose Went. Hosted by Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. Produced by Nilan.

March 31 - Educating The Future Part 2: Undergraduate Programs in the Northeast Featuring Elizabeth Margid (Fordham), Marcus Giamatti (Temple University), Beth Schachter (Muhlenberg), Jill Stevenson (Marymount), and Adrienne Kapstein (Pace). Hosted and produced by Nilan.

April 21 - The Post-Pandemic Future of International Exchange Featuring Philip Arnoult, Director of the Center for International Theatre Development, and Yury Urnov, co-Artistic Director of The Wilma Theater. Hosted by Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. Produced by Nilan.

Season 2 episode 1 of TA(L)KING DIRECTION is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, on The Drama League's website (dramaleague.org/talkingdirection), and on other podcast streaming services, along with the first season of the podcast, which features artists such as Lileana Blain-Cruz, Michael Mayer, Diane Paulus, Sheryl Kaller, David Mendizabal, Awoye Timpo, Shaykina Nayfack, Desdemona Chiang, Nicole A. Waston, Estefania Fadul, Christian Borle, Mei Ann Teo, Jonathan Groff, Conor McPherson, and more. In addition to new episodes being released, bonus content will also be offered to The Drama League members.

To learn more about becoming a member of The Drama League and the programming members fund, including fellowships, residencies, education programs, and artist relief funds, visit dramaleague.org.


The Drama League of New York, since 1916, has been at the forefront of the American Theatre community, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. The Drama League advances the American theater by providing a life-long artistic home for directors and a platform for dialogue with, and between, audiences. The Drama League opens doors for exceptional stage directors by providing time, resources, and space to work without restriction, while augmenting skills through personalized training, production opportunities, and professional development. The Drama League carefully selects directors whose vision and talent are unparalleled, with a clear commitment to the craft, the field, and audiences. Through our work, The Drama League celebrates the important role theatergoers have to the future of the industry, and champions the impact theater plays in civic life. The Drama League breaks the formidable barriers that impede success in the arts. These directors, nurtured and empowered by The Drama League's support, are trained to create the most rigorous work possible, as a live exchange between artists and audiences. In doing so, we elevate the conversation, deeply impacting theaters and their communities. Bringing people together to celebrate difference, share experiences, and discover common ground are crucial needs served by the work of Drama League directors. This necessary cultural practice is the foundation of our shared humanity.

originally published: 01/13/2021

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