10 Broadway Creatives Who Dominated the Decade
Over the past ten years, Broadway has been home to a plethora of creative triumphs. From daring new works to re-imagined classics, theatre has consistently challenged our perspectives, ignited our passions, and defied our expectations. For that, audiences have the creative minds of Broadway to thank.
While we salute each and every person who has written, directed, composed, and created this decade, BroadwayWorld is shining a spotlight on ten of them who had a particularly awesome ten years.
At the beginning of this decade, Benj and Justin were freshly out of college and quickly making a name for themselves in the industry, as Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients and Dramatist League Fellows. With their names already on the map for musicals like Edges, Dogfight, and James & the Giant Peach, it wasn't until 2012 when the duo made their Broadway debut with their charming take on A Christmas Story. 2016 catapulted the duo to a new level of success when their mega-hit musical Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway. Since then, they've gone on to write the music for The Greatest Showman, La La Land and Aladdin, and have earned a Tony Award, an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards and Grammy Award for their work.
A mainstay director of Britain's National Theatre since 2002, Elliott make her Broadway debut when her critically acclaimed production of War Horse transferred in Broadway in 2011. She was back, rocking the Broadway scene again in 2014, with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, another hugely imaginative play that told a simple story in an inventive way. In 2016, she took the helm on the first Broadway revival of Angels in America, another show that she put on first in the West End. For every one of Elliott's Broadway endeavors, she has been nominated for a Tony Award, and has won two out the three. This season, look again for her work in the revival of Company, which won four Olivier Awards earlier this year.
As the Artistic Director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, van Hove has made a name for himself as an aficionado of experimental theatre. Not until 2015 did Broadway take notice of the Belgian director's work, when his stripped-down revival of A View From the Bridge transferred from London. Since then, the Tony winner has been back on Broadway twice, with The Crucible (2016) and Network (2018). This year, he's making waves again with his edited version of West Side Story, which opens in February.
In 2017, playwright Lynn Nottage made history as the first (and only) female playwright to ever win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her first first honor came right before the start of the decade for her play Ruined. Nottage has gone on to write By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2011), Milma's Tale (2018), and The Secret Life of Bees (2019). Her work, mostly featured off Broadway, finally made it to Broadway in 2017. Sweat earned Lynn her second Pulitzer and a Tony nomination in the same year. Up next, she will write the book for the much anticipated (and slightly controversial) new musical about the life of Michael Jackson- MJ.
After a decade of performing on Broadway under his belt, Nicholaw made the switch to directing and choreographing in 2005- a trend that he stuck with throughout this decade. After working on All About Me (2010) and Elf (2011), he gained major attention for his work on 2011's mega hit musical, The Book of Mormon, which he choreographed and co-directed with Trey Parker. Since then, he has gone on the create five new musicals, including Aladdin (2014), Something Rotten (2015), Tuck Everlasting (2016), Mean Girls (2018) and The Prom (2018). In the past ten years, he has earned eight Tony nominations (and won one).
Before 2010, Joe Mantello had an astounding nineteen Broadway credits on his resume. He hasn't slowed down this decade. The actor director kicked off 2011 with a Tony-nominated performance in The Normal Heart. Since then, he went on to direct: Other Desert Cities (2011), The Other Place (2013), I'll Eat You Last (2013), Casa Valentina (2014), The Last Ship (2014), Airline Highway (2015), An Act of God (2015), The Humans (2016), Blackbird (2016), Three Tall Women (2018), The Boys in the Band (2018), Hillary and Clinton (2019), and starred in The Glass Menagerie (2017). This season he's back to direct Laurie Metcalf (a frequent collaborator) and Rupert Everett in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Just before the start of the decade, Diane Paulus was nominated for a Tony Award for her inspired revival of Hair, which began as a concert performance in Central Park. As the Artistic Director of Cambridge's American Repertory Theater, Paulus has staged daring new shows and fresh takes on old ones- many of which have transferred to Broadway, including: The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (2012), Pippin (2013), Finding Neverland (2015), Waitress (2016), and this season, Jagged Little Pill. She picked up two Tony nominations (and one award) in the process.
In 2014, composer Robert Lopez made history as the youngest and fastest (in ten years) person to ever earn an EGOT. In 2018, he he did it again, earning the distinction of the only person to ever double EGOT. While some of these individual honors came before the start of the decade, many did not. The Avenue Q composer got to work in 2011 as one of the creators of the mega-hit The Book of Mormon. Soon after, he teamed with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, to write the now iconic music for Disney's Frozen, and soon after, Coco. This season, the duo returned to Arendelle to write new music for Frozen 2, now in theatres.
Director Kenny Leon brought the first revival of August Wilson's Fences back to Broadway in 2010, with explosive performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Since then, he's worked on many other socially and politically-driven plays that have woken up Broadway, such as The Mountaintop (2011), Stick Fly (2011), A Raisin in the Sun (2014), Holler if Ya Hear Me (2014), Children of a Lesser God (2018) and American Son (2018). This season, he's back with Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play, starring David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood.
Already a Tony-nominated choreographer for his work on 2008's South Pacific, Gattelli hit the new decade running making Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown dance. Over the past ten years, he earned four Tony nominations (and one win) for creating movement for Godspell, Casa Valentina, The King and I, Amazing Grace, War Paint, Spongebob Squarepants, My Fair Lady, The Cher Show, and of course, Newsies.
More Hot Stories For You
Following the critically acclaimed, sold-out engagement in London's West End, the visionary new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's land... (read more)
Breaking: Steve Buscemi, Chris Messina & More Join Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac in NYTW's THREE SISTERS
Complete casting, creatives, and more have been announced for New York Theatre Workshop's adaptation of Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, for the previo... (read more)
Hudson Loverro and More to Star in TREVOR; Full Casting Announced
Producers Roy Furman John Ambrosino / Josie Bray / Mark Woods have announced the 19-member company of Trevor, the new musical making its New York prem... (read more)
BWW Exclusive: Thomas Schumacher Reveals Next Steps for HERCULES, AIDA & More!
As BroadwayWorld previously reported, a new North American tour of Elton John and Tim Rice's Tony-winning Broadway smash Aida will premiere at Paper M... (read more)
Photo Flash: First Look at FLY at La Jolla Playhouse, Starring Storm Lever, Lincoln Clauss, Isabelle McCalla, and More!
La Jolla Playhouse presents the new musical Fly, based on the J.M. Barrie novel Peter and Wendy.... (read more)
Photo Flash: First Look at Roger Bart, Olly Dobson, and the Cast of BACK TO THE FUTURE in Action!
We've got your first look at the all new musical adaptation of BACK TO THE FUTURE!... (read more)