Diane Paulus

Diane Paulus
Diane Paulus
Born 1966
New York City, USA
Nationality United States
Alma mater Harvard University
Columbia University
Occupation Director
Spouse Randy Weiner

Diane Paulus (born 1966 in New York City, USA) is an American director of theater and opera[1] who became Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (ART) at Harvard University in 2009.[1] Paulus was nominated for the Best Director Tony Award for her revival of Hair. She has received the 2009 Harvard College Women’s Leadership Award and the Columbia University IAL Diamond Award.[2]



Paulus attended the Brearley School, studied dance at New York City Ballet and trained in classical piano.[1] In 1988, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Studies and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.[3] She earned a Master's degree from the Columbia University School of the Arts.[1]


Paulus and her husband, Randy Weiner, along with a few other theater school graduates established a small theater troupe in New York City called Project 400 Theatre Group.[1][4] With Project 400, Paulus and Weiner specialized in creating avante-garde musical productions which married classic theater and modern music.[5] Paulus' first production with the group was a rock version of The Tempest.[5] Other productions included an R&B Phaedra and a hip-hop Lohengrin.[5]

In collaboration with Weiner, Paulus co-created The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which ran off-Broadway from 1999 to 2005.[6] Critics cited the production as an exemplary of a trend in which edgy avante-garde theater had become fashionably mainstream.[7]

In May 2008, Paulus was named the artistic director for the Harvard University American Repertory Theater. Harvard chose Paulus after a 16-month search to replace Robert Woodruff in an effort to revitalize the program.[8] Paulus' first production was a revival of The Donkey Show.[6] Paulus previously taught courses at Columbia and Yale University.[8]

Paulus was selected by American Theatre magazine as one of the 25 theatre artists who were asked to share their vision of coming developments in the next 25 years in the theatre world.[9] In her comments she talks about her goal to "revolutionize" the theatre experience by making it more interactive, letting the audience participate and making theatre content more "open source."

In 2010, Paulus directed Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon), an opera by Joseph Haydn, in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. A Gotham Chamber Opera, in partnership with the Museum and in association with American Repertory Theater, Paulus' production fused live opera and stargazing using the 180-degree dome with projections courtesy of NASA. Video of Il mondo della luna

Paulus was slated to direct Paul Simon's The Capeman at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park for the Public Theater in August 2010.[10] In 2011, she staged a revisionist production of the opera Porgy and Bess, which is due to transfer to Broadway in 2012. Cries of outrage appeared on blogs when it was learned exactly how much Ms. Paulus had decided to change the original, and a harshly critical letter from Stephen Sondheim excoriated Ms. Paulus for tampering with (and even rewriting) what is mainly considered a stage masterpiece. [11]


Paulus was born Diane Marie Paulus in New York City in 1966, the daughter of a New York television producer. On October 1, 1995, she married fellow Harvard graduate Randy Weiner.[3] They have two daughters.

Selected works directed

  • The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which ran off-Broadway from 1999 to 2005. It was revived in 2009 for Paulus' first production as director of the ART.[6]
  • The 40th Anniversary Concert Production of Hair at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park for the Public Theater as well as the subsequent production of Hair on Broadway which won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director.
  • Another Country by James Baldwin at Riverside Church
  • Turandot: Rumble for the Ring at the Bay Street Theatre.
  • The Golden Mickeys for Disney Creative Entertainment.
  • Best of Both Worlds, a gospel/R&B adaptation of A Winter’s Tale produced by Music-Theatre Group and The Women’s Project. Co-written by Diedre Murray. It was revived in 2010 at the ART.
  • The Karaoke Show, an adaptation of Comedy of Errors set in a karaoke bar, produced by Jordan Roth Productions.
  • Running Man by jazz composer and frequent collaborator Diedre Murray and poet Cornelius Eady.
  • Swimming with Watermelons, created in association with Project 400, the theater company she co-founded with her husband Randy Weiner.
  • Brutal Imagination.
  • The Obie-award winning Eli's Comin, featuring the music and lyrics of Laura Nyro.
  • At Chicago Opera Theater: Le Nozze Di Figaro, Turn Of The Screw, Cosi Fan Tutte, and all three Monteverdi opera, Il Ritorno D’Ulisse In Patria, L’Incoronazione Di Poppea, and Orfeo.[12]
  • Johnny Baseball 2010 Play at the ART.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e Colleen Walsh, "Paulus reaches beyond boards", Harvard Gazette, 23 April 2009
  2. ^ "HAIR Director Diane Paulus Receives I.A.L Diamond Award 5/2 At Varsity Show", Broadway.com, 1 May 2009
  3. ^ a b "Weddings; Diane M. Paulus, Randy Weiner", New York Times, October 1, 1995
  4. ^ Ricky Spears, "Quick Wit: Anna Wilson ", TheaterMania, 7 July 2000
  5. ^ a b c Eric V. Copage, "Not Your Mother's Musical, and That's the Point", New York Times, 6 September 1999
  6. ^ a b c Megan Tench, "Disco inferno", The Boston Globe, August 23, 2009
  7. ^ Arnold Aronson, American Avant-garde Theatre: A History, Routledge; 1 ed. (2000), p.207
  8. ^ a b Celia McGee, "Harvard’s Not-So-Square New Director", New York Times, 13 August 2008
  9. ^ "An Eye on the Future" April 2009, American Theatre magazine
  10. ^ Shakespeare in the Park web site, retrieved 7/12/2010
  11. ^ http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/stephen-sondheim-takes-issue-with-plan-for-revamped-porgy-and-bess/
  12. ^ DIANE PAULUS - Biography
  13. ^ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002435.html?categoryid=1237&cs=1

External links

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