Draft:Lee Sunday Evans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  • Symbol opinion vote.svg Comment: This reads like what I'd expect her website to say and not what independent reliable sources say. Praxidicae (talk) 10:56, 25 July 2019 (UTC)

Lee Sunday Evans is an OBIE award-winning director. She also received the 2017 SDC Breakout Award and the 2016 Susan Stroman Directing Award from The Vineyard Theater and was nominated for Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play for assistant directing The Open House in 2014 and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreographer for her work in Dance Nation in 2017. She's directed productions of A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, Caught, Macbeth, Bull in a China Shop, The Things That Were There, HOME, Farmhouse/Whorehouse, [Porto], Wellesley Girl, D Deb Debbie Deborah, The Play About My Dad , God's Ear, Family Play (1979 to Present), Miller, Mississippi ,The Winter’s Tale, Intractable Woman, The Courtroom, and choreographed as well as directed Dance Nation. In 2018, she was appointed as the new artistic director for the New York-based theater company Waterwell.[1]

Early life[edit]

Evans was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1985, and grew up in Port Washington, New York.[2] As a child, Evans was trained as a classical pianist by her mother and would often play piano for school musicals, which sparked her interest for the world of theater. After training for many years as a modern dancer, Evans knew she was meant to be a director. [3] She graduated Boston University with a BFA in Theater Directing.

On directing[edit]

She describes her love for directing stemming from “the idea that you get to engage with the public event of theater: how a play meets an audience and what happens in real time when this encounter takes place.” [3] I never wanted to be an actor, but I deeply loved language; I think passion for language was what drove me to take all the experiences I had in the music and dance world and bring it into the theater.”[3]

She was drawn to theater because she was “endlessly fascinated by the public event of it - about the communication between a play and an audience, between the performers on stage and the audience that's watching them. I'm fascinated by what you can and can't control about it - and what you do and don't want to control about it. We're so media saturated these days, that I'm hooked on the idea that we can create a public space where we're NOT telling people what to think or crafting images and narratives designed to manipulate people. That seems of vital importance to me - and increasingly difficult because our expectations that we 'get' something or can 'identify' with a play seem to be so heavily shaped by our experience with heavily manufactured media - marketing, movies, commercials, music videos etc.”[4]


Additionally, she creates collaboratively devised work with CollaborationTown and works as their resident director. CollaborationTown strives to create “ensemble-driven, humorous, and heartfelt new plays that defy expectations of how stories can be told in the theater”[5]. Her productions with CollaborationTown include Family Play (1979 to Present) (2014), Help Me to Make It (2013), The Deepest Play Ever (2012), The Play About My Dad (2011), and The Momentum (2010) and an upcoming production of The Riddle of the Trilobites (2019). [6]

Teaching artist[edit]

As a teaching artist, Evans has taught directing, choreographing, and devised theater workshops as the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Theater Lab, NYC Public schools, Waterwell Drama Program at PPAS, BAX, CATCH, LMCC, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, Juilliard, and the International Theater & Literacy Project in Arusha, Tanzania[7][8]


As of 2018, Evans is the artistic director for the New York-based, civic minded, theater company, Waterwell. Their mission is to “cultivate the inherent danger in live performance by create an exciting and unpredictable event — an event pruned down to its irreducible elements: human beings sharing a space and a story. Waterwell hopes to empower its audience to change their lives and the world in which they live.”[9] Her upcoming productions for Waterwell include The Courtroom, In the Green, and June July August. [10][11]


In the summer of 2016, Evans directed an all-female Macbeth for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival which was hailed by its artistic director, Davis McCallum. He called her "one of the most inspired and inspiring directors I know" and  hailed her work as "both a remarkable physical precision and a highly attuned emotional and human sensitivity. The combination is what really distinguishes her as an artist".[12]

Evans choreographed as well as directed Dance Nation in 2017 which Ben Brantley of the New York Times called "Critic's Pick! A blazingly original play from the insanely talented Clare Barron. Directed and choreographed with gloriously rough magic by Lee Sunday Evans, marvel at how close what you see cuts to the bone".[13]

In 2018, an Evans-helmed production of Geoff Sobelle's HOME was praised by Leslie Katz for the San Francisco Examiner, who said "Nonetheless, it's a showcase of dazzling stagecraft, meticulously directed by Lee Sunday Evans, with an awesome scenic concept by Steven Dufala"[14] and Sam Hurwitt at the The Mercury News also spoke highly of the production: "Staged with pitch-perfect timing by director Lee Sunday Evans, the show starts in a simple, down-to-earth way [...] soon there's an enchanting burst of stage magic that has to be experienced for itself"[14] In the same year, Ben Brantley called Evans' directed production of Intractable Woman as "A Slain Journalist's Voice Resounds. Directed with an uncompromisingly clear eye and steady hand by the gifted Lee Sunday Evans. A vivid portrait of a woman as well as of her times".[15]

In the 2019, through Waterwell, Evans directed the world premiere of The Courtroom was hailed by Laura Collins-Hughes in The New York Times: "this is theater as civic meditation [...] As the piece follows her from one courtroom to another [… ] what is most palpable is the suspense — how deeply invested the audience becomes in the future of this gentle woman [...] you aren't hoping only for her acquittal. You’re hoping for our own".[16]


  • The Momentum (2010)- co-created
  • The Play About My Dad (2011)- co-director
  • The Deepest Play Ever (2012)- co-director
  • Help Me to Make It (2013)- co-created
  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle (2013, PPAS production)- director
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (2013, PPAS production)- director
  • Family Play (1979 to Present) (2014)- director
  • The Open House (2014)- assistant director, nominated for Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play
  • A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (2015)- director, won the OBIE Award for Special Citations alongside playwright Kate Benson
  • D Deb Debbie Deborah (2015)- director
  • Caught (2016)- director
  • Macbeth (2016- Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival)- director
  • Wellesley Girl (2016)- director
  • God's Ear (2016)- director
  • Farmhouse/Whorehouse (2017)- director
  • Bull in a China Shop (2017)- director
  • Dance Nation (2017)- choreographer and director
  • The Winter’s Tale (2017)- director
  • Miller, Mississippi (2018)- director
  • The Things That Were There (2018)- director
  • Intractable Woman (2018)- director
  • [Porto] (2018)- director
  • HOME (2018)- director
  • The Courtroom (January 2019)- world premiere, director
  • The Riddle of the Trilobites (March 2019)- co-director
  • In the Green (Summer 2019)- director
  • June July August (Summer 2019)- artistic director


  1. ^ Cohn, Gabe (2018-11-14). "Waterwell Names Lee Sunday Evans as Artistic Director". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  2. ^ "6 Theatre Workers You Should Know". American Theatre. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  3. ^ a b c "LCT3-D: BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, Part 1". Lincoln Center Theater. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  4. ^ Block, Michael. "Spotlight On...Lee Sunday Evans". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  5. ^ "Who We Are". CollaborationTown. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  6. ^ "Past Productions". CollaborationTown. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  7. ^ "All Girls". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  8. ^ "Lee Sunday Evans | Waterwell". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  9. ^ "Mission | Waterwell". Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  10. ^ "LCT3 to Premiere Grace McLean's IN THE GREEN This Summer". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  11. ^ "Waterwell Drama's New Works Lab Hosts World Premiere of JUNE JULY AUGUST". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  12. ^ "6 Theatre Workers You Should Know". American Theatre. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  13. ^ "Director - Dance Nation". Playwrights Horizons. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  14. ^ a b "Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of HOME at Berkeley Rep?". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  15. ^ "INTRACTABLE WOMAN". PlayCo. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  16. ^ Collins-Hughes, Laura (2019-02-23). "Theater as Moral Meditation in 'Catonsville Nine' and 'The Courtroom'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-28.