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Tony Awards Close-Up: The Great Storyteller of 2017, Rachel Chavkin, Explains How She Told the Tale of GREAT COMET


It takes a village to recreate the giant world of War and Peace in a supper club-style Broadway theatre. Chief of that village is Rachel Chavkin, who earned her first Tony nomination for Best Direction for her ingenious work on Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Below, watch as she explains why the show's long journey to the Imperial has been so rewarding.

Rachel Chavkin is a director, writer, dramaturg, and Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based experimental ensemble, the TEAM ( Known primarily for developing new work, she has directed multiple world premieres including Bess Wohl's Small Mouth Sounds for Ars Nova and subsequent transfer to the Signature Theatre, and Anais Mitchell's folkopera Hadestown for New York Theatre Workshop. Chavkin is an NYTW Usual Suspect where she also directed Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy's Three Pianos, a drunken romp through Schubert's Winterreise, originally produced at the Ontological Incubator, where it earned a 2010 Obie Award. Malloy and Chavkin were awarded a 2013 Obie for Comet, and in 2016 she received an Obie for her direction of Marco Ramirez's The Royale at Lincoln Center, as well as Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations.

Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here... but what about Pierre? Natasha is a beautiful ingénue visiting Moscow while she waits for her beloved fiancé Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her position in society is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre (Groban), the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption... and to the renewal of his own soul.

The American Theatre Wing's 71st Annual Tony Awards will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT), hosted by Tony winner Kevin Spacey.

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