Daryl Roth is proud to hold the singular distinction of producing seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park (Tony Award); Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County (Tony Award); Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics; David Auburn’s Proof (Tony Award); Margaret Edson’s Wit; Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive; and Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.
Daryl's other award-winning Broadway productions include: Bea Arthur on Broadway; Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s Caroline, or Change; Harvey Fierstein’s A Catered Affair; Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away; Helen Edmundson’s Coram Boy; Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl; Kander and Ebb’s Curtains; Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms; Terrence McNally’s Deuce; Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy; Bill T. Jones’ Fela!; Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind; Dan Gordon’s Irena’s Vow; Mark Twain’s Is He Dead?; Alan Menkin, Janus Cercone and Warrne Leight's Leap of Faith; Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music; Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart; Euripides’ Medea; Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (Tony Award); Oscar Wilde’s Salome, the Reading; Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Tony Award); George Stevens Jr.’s Thurgood; Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; War Horse (Tony Award); Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
Her Off-Broadway credits include: Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance; Edward Albee and Samuel Beckett’s Beckett/Albee; Mark St. Germain’s Camping with Henry and Tom; Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire’s Closer Than Ever; Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich’s Dear Edwina; Jane Anderson’s Defying Gravity; Charles Busch’s Die, Mommie, Die!, The Divine Sister, and Olive and The Bitter Herbs; Eric Walton’s Esoterica; George C. Wolfe’s Harlem Song; Kenny Finkle’s Indoor Outdoor; Judy Gold's The Judy Show; Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Paul Grellong’s Manuscript; Brian Copeland’s Not a Genuine Black Man; Jon Marans’ Old Wicked Songs; Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street; Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby; David Marshall Grant’s Snakebit; Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads; Matthew Lombardo’s Tea at Five; Jon Marans’ The Temperamentals; Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing); Daniel Beaty’s Through The Night; David Pittu’s What’s that Smell? The Music of Jacob Sterling; Morris Paynch’s Vigil; and De La Guarda, which ran for 7 years as the inaugural production at the Daryl Roth Theatre.
Currently Daryl is producing the new Broadway revival of Annie and the new Broadway musical Kinky Boots, based on the film, with music by Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Jerry Mitchell and Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy. Future theatre projects include A Time To Kill by John Grisham adapted by Rupert Holmes; an adaptation of Abigail Pogrebin’s book, Stars of David; and It Shoulda Been You, a new musical starring Tyne Daly, directed by David Hyde Pierce.
In addition to theatre, Daryl has produced several films including Albert Nobbs starring Glenn Close, directed by Rodrigo Garcia; the Emmy-nominated HBO feature, Dinner with Friends, based on Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play; The Lady in Question, a documentary based on the career of Charles Busch; A Very Serious Person written by Charles Busch, starring Polly Bergen; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell starring Marc Wolf; and My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story a documentary exploring the relationships of well known New Yorkers and their dogs.
Dedicated to nurturing and supporting theatre artists, The Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award is given annually to a theatre artist who has demonstrated exceptional talent and promise in his or her field.
Daryl's stellar career has not gone unrecognized. Her numerous awards and honors include The Stella Adler 2012 Harold Clurman Spirit Award, The 2012 Family Equality Council Hostetter-Habib Family Award, The 2011 Live Out Loud Humanitarian Award, 2010 Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, Primary Stages 2007 Honoree, The National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Patron of the Arts Award, The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Louis Marshall Award, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine Spirit of Achievement Award, The National Corporate Theatre Fund’s Chairman Award, and The Tisch School of the Arts Award for Artistic Leadership. Ms. Roth was profiled in The New Yorker and twice included in Crain’s "100 Most Influential Women in Business."
Now Daryl is bringing everything she knows to TEDxBroadway, a day-long event beginning where the sold out 2012 TEDxBroadway left off, bringing together some of the most passionate and influential people in academics, entertainment, marketing and media to answer the question: "What’s the best that Broadway can be: on stage, as an important neighborhood in New York City and in terms of its cultural impact on the world?" On January 28, at New World Stages in NYC (340 West 50th Street) hear Daryl, George Takei, Rasputina, David Sabel, Ellen Isaacs, Adam Thurman, Seth Pinsky, Thomas Schumacher, Randi Zuckerberg, Terry Teachout, Christine Jones and Josh Harris all speak about "What's the best that Broadway can be." Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by clicking here!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a producer? I always loved theatre. I grew up in NJ and my family held theatre in very high regard. As a young person, my sister and I were always being taken to see shows and it was in my life and I just loved it. I didn't have a clue how I was going to find my way into this world, but as I got older and realized that it's something I really wanted to do, I just tried to find a place for myself and I did. It was my passion and I found what I wanted to do with it.
2. What show or shows haven't you produced yet that you would like to? That's an interesting question, because I don't know what lies ahead. I can flip that answer a little bit and tell you the one show I regret not producing, and that was Angels in America, which I had seen in London and loved it so much. It was such an inspiration for me, and yet when I came back from that trip to London I didn't really have the confidence in myself at that time to call the people who were involved in producing it to see if I could join them. I think it was too early in my career to have that confidence. That is the one show for me that would have been special to be a part of.
3. What made you want to take part in TedxBroadway? First of all, I was honored that I was asked and Jordan did it last year and enjoyed the experience. (Daryl's son Jordan Roth is the principal owner of Jujamcyn Theaters). I think TedxBroadway is an interesting and personal way to share information with people and learn about the different ways they approach what they do.
4. What do you hope attendees come away with after hearing your specific talk? Interestingly enough, my topic is about how when audiences come to see theatre, I hope they are inspired to take something with them from the experience and play it forward into the community. I hope that is what my talk will do for people, and I hope it offers them opportunities to think about how theatre can inform who they are or how they can help make things better in the world.
5. Without giving too much of your talk away, what do you feel can make Broadway the best it cane be? Again, it's on that theme of seeing something on stage and making that message or story personal to you...how can you extrapolate something from that to make our world, whether it's the smaller world of our theatre industry or a larger community, a better place.
Me: I think a lot of the shows you produce do that for people.
Daryl: Oh, thank you. I hope so. When TedxBroadway asked me to speak I had to reflect on what the common denominator is for what I choose to produce, and I think it is doing something that people would find significant.
Me: Of those I've seen like The Normal Heart and Irena's Vow and The Divine Sister and Tale of The Allergists Wife all had something in them that I took away and kept with me.
Daryl: I love hearing that. Thank you.
6. Who are you looking forward to hearing speak most at TedxBroadway and what do you hope to get out of the conference? I think everybody is amazingly accomplished and I'm anxious to hear them all speak, but I am always fascinated by what Thomas Schumacher (President of Disney Theatrical Group) has to say. I have great respect for him in the way he has steered that Disney ship to Broadway in a way that has changed theatergoing for a lot of people, especially families and younger audiences. I know Tom and he's always been very straight forward in his thoughts and has given me good advice over the years, so I'm curious to hear what he has to say.
7. You have produced some of my favorite shows both on and off Broadway including Proof, Irena's Vow, August: Osage County, Bea Arthur on Broadway, The Normal Heart, Tale of the Allergists Wife, The Divine Sister, Die Mommie Die, and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. How do you decide which shows you want to produce? For me, the most important aspect in deciding what shows to produce is the story it tells, and if the story might add something new to the cultural landscape or offer a new way to look at something that we thought we were familiar with. It's also about truthful characters, but mostly it's about telling a story that might make a difference to someone.
8. You have The Daryl Roth Theatre named after you as well as The Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award. What does it mean to you to have a theatre named after you as well as your own award? The award is given to support theatre artists as they develop new work and pair them with a residency so they can see their work come to fruition. Giving this reward is very fulfilling for me. As for the theatre and naming it, I think there's a history of that. At the time I thought to myself, I've always loved this building, I walked past it when I was a student at NYU. It's a gorgeous landmark building, and the work that I put in that building is representative of what I think is interesting, and so I thought, why not, it just felt right. I didn't mean to be anything less than humble, but it just felt right. I don't know what else I would have called it.
Me: It's a great space.
Daryl: It turned out to be a wonderful space to have a variety of performance art and be experimental with projects that don't need seating. So the theatre became more environmental. It worked out well when De La Guarda approached us about using the space, and it made me look at it in a new way, which has worked well for all these years. It offers high ceilings and no visual obstacles. It's a great space.
Me: And the downstairs, I've seen a few comedy shows down there.
Daryl: Yes, it's a cozy space. We tried to make it a little lounge for people to do stand-up comedy or cabaret. Then the space next door to the theatre, The DR2 has been really wonderful to have because I do a children's series there which is a very welcoming space for young people, sometimes their first theatre experience. The building and the programming have been quite wonderful and like my career, very eclectic.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a producer? I've learned that I must always trust my instincts and I shouldn't be swayed by the noise and hype surrounding any project. I think if I succeed or fail, it's okay as long as I've been true to myself. I just have to trust myself on what plays to produce and what people to work with and how to best present things I can feel very proud of.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Find what you love. Do your best. Don't be afraid to fail. Theatre deals in a different currency, it's not always about the money. As you said earlier, if you do things for the reasons that are important to you and they turn out financially successful, that's fabulous, but if you do things for the reasons that are important to you, you'll always have a success.
Daryl: These were very good questions. They made me really think.
Me: Thank you. That's what I aim for.
Daryl: Well you did.