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Anne Kauffman

Described by The New York Times as “one of the leading lights of downtown theater,” Anne has directed at most major New York non-profit and regional theaters. Her recent credits include, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison with Playwrights Horizons, Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson with The Public Theater, The Nether by Jennifer Haley with MCC, You Got Older by Clare Barron with P73 Productions (Obie Award), Smokefall by Noah Haidle at The Goodman Theater and South Coast Rep, 100 Days a new musical by The Bengsons at Z Space in San Francisco, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra by Kirk Lynn with Playwrights Horizons, The Muscles in Our Toes by Stephen Belber with the Labyrinth Theater Company. Other credits include: Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play Detroit starring David Schwimmer and Amy Ryan at Playwrights Horizons (NY Times, New York Magazine, and TimeOut NY Top 10 Productions of 2012), Maple and Vine also at Playwrights Horizons, Somewhere Fun by Jenny Schwartz at the Vineyard Theater, Amy Herzog’s Belleville for Yale Rep, NY Theatre Workshop and Steppenwolf (Lortel Nomination for Best Director), Chloe Moss’ This Wide Night starring Edie Falco and Alison Pill for Naked Angels (Lortel Nomination for Best Director), the musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Adam Bock and Todd Almond with Yale Rep, Stunning by David Adjmi and Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl for LCT3, You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents' Divorce with The Civilians at Williamstown, ArtsEmerson and The Flea, God's Ear by Jenny Schwartz with New Georges and the Vineyard.

She is a Sundance Program Associate, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, an alumna of the Soho Rep. Writers and Directors Lab, a current member of Soho Rep.’s Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League of New York, a founding member of The Civilians, an Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb and member of New Georges' Kitchen Cabinet. From 2000-2006, Anne was on the directing faculty at NYU. She received her MFA in directing from UCSD, and a BA in Slavic Languages and Literature and Theater from Stanford University.

Anne’s awards include two Obie Awards, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Barrymore Award for Best Director, and a Lilly Award. (As of February 2016)


More Reviews


Tim Sanford and Lisa D'Amour

How did you come to write Detroit? I had been collaborating all year long on really big collaborative experimental projects and I finally had a moment to breathe and I was like, “I just want to write a play that’s just for me.” I had no commissions. I had nothing. And I just had this idea that… it’s kind of an elaboration on The Cataract because there are two couples in that play too, and I just sort of had this little idea of these two couples living next door to each other. Two very different couples. And I just started writing it in this very relaxed way.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Lisa D'Amour on "Detroit"

My brother Chris, the quintessential charming New Orleans host, has a game he often starts at parties after downing an Old-Fashioned or two. He especially loves to play it when his guests include people from different facets of his life—relative strangers to each other who might need an icebreaker in order to really relax. He'll smile, lean back in his chair, take a sip of his cocktail and begin: "Alright everybody, one question: If you could have any other job than the job you have now, what would it be?"


Tim Sanford on "Detroit"

"When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose." –Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone" There are many possible points of entry into Lisa D'Amour's dazzlingDetroit. It's such an ambitious, multi-layered play, a play I am convinced should be on college syllabi a hundred years from now, assuming colleges still exist. In talking about the play to a group of supporters the other night, I found myself saying, "It's kind of Richard II meets Awake and Sing meets True West meets The Bacchae, with a little Robocop and "The Honeymooners" thrown in for zest." I don't mean to imply it's some kind of post-modern mishmash. It's actually my flip attempt to identify the play's originality and its depth.


The American Voice: D'Amour Fou

"I think I am feeling another skin just below my real skin. It's been there the whole time." –Mary, in DETROIT Christine and Léa Papin, sisters born six years apart, were described by the few who knew them as extremely quiet and retiring young women; but on the evening of February 2, 1933, they did something unexpected. For seven years, they had worked as live-in maids to the family of Monsieur René Lancelin, who came home that evening to discover his wife and daughter dead, beaten beyond recognition, their eyes gouged out. ...


Backstory: First Ring

"Plywood has a lifespan of 40 years. Over time, the glue that holds plywood together dries up. Then, walls buckle, split and peel. Panels pop loose. Rooms, doors and windows morph into trick-or-treat versions of themselves." –Herbert Muschamp, The New York Times, October 19, 1997