New York Theatre Workshop’s ANNUAL GALA

On Monday March 18, 2024, the New York Theatre Workshop community gathered to honor theatre and film visionary Liesl Tommy!

The star-studded event—hosted by Nicole Ari Parker—took place at Gotham Hall with direction by Kevin Cahoon, musical direction by Rick Hip-Flores. The event was written by Thaddeus McCants and the live auction was facilitated by Robbie Gordy.

Eisa Davis • Scarlett London Diviney • Brandon Victor Dixon • Elizabeth Judd • Tamika Lawrence • John Manzari • Adrienne Warren • Natasha Yvette Williams • Joy Woods • AND MORE!

Will Graham • Lynn Nottage • Jeremy Reff • William Morris Endeavor and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP

Vienn and Salman Al-Rashid • Marvet Britto • Eisa Davis • Eon Productions Ltd • Flagstar Bank, N.A. • Ruth & Stephen Hendel • Philip Himberg • Daniel Alexander Jones • Edward Kitsis and Adam Hororwitz • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C. • LaChanze • Brenda Mainer and Bob Wetzel • Jennifer Mudge • Robert O’Hara • Clint Ramos • Daryl Roth • Nadine Schiff and Fred Rosen • Carrie Simon • Amy & Rob Stavis • Tracey Scott Wilson

LIESL TOMMY is a groundbreaking, multi-award-winning director and producer of theater, television and film. She’s the first Black woman ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, which she earned for Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyong’o. Liesl has directed over 50 productions throughout the world, including the world premiere of the John Kander and Greg Pierce musical Kid Victory, the first stage adaptation of Frozen as a multimedia extravaganza for Disneyland, and her box-office juggernaut production of Les Misérables. For the latter two, she made the groundbreaking choice to shift the casting to center people of color, laying the foundation for future productions. Liesl made her acclaimed feature directorial debut in 2021 with “Respect,” based on the life of Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige. Tommy has also enjoyed a successful career directing episodes of television including “Queen Sugar,” “Insecure,” “The Walking Dead” and “Mrs. Fletcher.”

Liesl’s childhood in Apartheid-era South Africa has deeply influenced her passion for stories about people fiercely pursuing personal and cultural freedom, propelling her to launch her NYC-based production company Crocodile Eyes with co-producer Jennifer Mudge in 2020. Projects in development include a collaboration with Andrea Ciannavei and Oscar-winning writer Alex Dinelaris’ Lexicon NY, an original Feminist Horror film trilogy, and a legacy title live-action feature with Disney+. Upcoming TV projects include collaborations with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and Tony Gerber, Emmy nominee Tanya Barfield, as well as Sister Pictures and Paramount+. On Crocodile Eyes’ theatre slate is the previously announced Imitation of Life, a musical adaptation that Liesl conceived with book by Lynn Nottage and music and lyrics by John Legend; a revival with Wagner Johnson Productions; and the Rwanda Project with London-based producer Ryan Hugh Mackey and 2023 Olivier winner Mervyn Millar.