Joanna Settle

Playwrights debut. Joanna Settle recently directed the world premiere of Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s musical The Total Bent in a twice-extended run at The Public Theater. Other Public Theater credits include Winter Miller's In Darfur and the Finale of Suzan-Lori Park’s 365 Plays/365 Days. She also directed the world premiere of Heather Raffo’s celebrated 9 Parts of Desire at Manhattan Ensemble Theater, and for subsequent productions at theaters and art museums around the US. Settle served as the Artistic Director of Chicago’s Division 13 Productions from 1998 to 2004 and directed and adapted 15 projects including BLOOD LINE: The Oedipus/Antigone Story, two plays by Sophocles, Macbett by Ionesco, and several Samuel Beckett shorts including Cascando and Play.  She served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare on the Sound 2009 to 2012, where she directed free outdoor Shakespeare productions of A Midsummer Night’s DreamOthelloMuch Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Settle completed her graduate studies at The Juilliard School and holds a BA in Theater Directing and Design from Hampshire College. She has taught and guest directed at Bard College, Williams College, Juilliard, Cornell and Stanford and served as Director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts from 2014 to 2016. She is currently Associate Arts Professor of Theater at NYU Abu Dhabi. 2018 premieres include Noura by Heather Raffo, Lashed but Not Leashed by Martha Graham Cracker for Under The Radar Festival at The Public Theater and an untitled new opera (composer Lembit Beecher, librettist Hannah Moscovitch) with Opera Philadelphia. 



Footnote: Iraqi Women in Diaspora

Playwright and performer Heather Raffo gathers a multi-generational, multi-religious, multi-national group of women to discuss the themes and ideas of her play Noura.


In Process: Heather Raffo on Noura

Playwright and actor Heather Raffo discusses her inspirations for Noura, including the struggle for modern women to “have it all” while balancing commitments to family and community.

First Rehearsal Photos: Noura

Welcome back! After rehearsing in Abu Dhabi, the Norua company is now settling in the Mainstage Theater and is set to bring Heather Raffo’s “epic” (Washington Post) new drama to life.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright’s Perspective: Noura

The characters of Noura attempt to balance their individual pursuits with a search for community. I believe it is a balance with which many of us struggle.


Backstory: City of Peace

As the international community faces the task of rebuilding Iraq, and as Noura confronts her dreams of home on stage in Hell’s Kitchen, a consideration of Iraq’s past becomes all the more poignant. (Adam Greenfield, Associate Artistic Director)