Artist Bio

Sheldon Epps

(Bio as of September 2005)

Sheldon Epps most recently collaborated with the Goodman on Purlie during the 2005/2006 Season. Mr. Epps conceived and directed the Duke Ellington musical Play On!, which received three Tony Award nominations and was produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Goodman Theatre, where it received four Jefferson Awards including Best Musical. The Pasadena Playhouse production was taped by PBS for broadcast as part of the Great Performances series. He also conceived and directed the highly acclaimed musical revue Blues in the Night.The Broadway production was nominated for a Tony Award as best musical of the year, and the London production, which he also directed, was nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards and ran for over one year on the West End before being broadcast in Europe by Thames Television. Mr. Epps was a co-founder and the associate artistic director of the off-Broadway theater The Production Company. His directorial assignments for that company included A Midsummer Night's Dream, Incandescent Tones and Scenes and Revelations, which he also directed on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Mr. Epps has directed plays and musicals for many of the country's major theaters including the Guthrie, the Old Globe Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Crossroads Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Arizona Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Walnut St. Theatre, George Street Playhouse and Asolo State Theatre. For television he has directed episodes of Frasier; Everybody Loves Raymond; Joey; Evening Shade and Sister, Sister, and he is producer/director for the current hit series Girlfriends. He is a member of the executive board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Mr. Epps is a two-time recipient of the Theatre Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trust National Theatre Artists Residency Grant, which supported his four-year tenure at the Old Globe Theatre as associate artistic director. Mr. Epps was pleased to join the Pasadena Playhouse as artistic director in 1997. His directing credits at this theater include As Bees In Honey Drown, Blue, Play On!, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Old Settler, The Real Thing, On Borrowed Time, Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting and Blues in the Night, and he was production consultant for the music Sisterella. He directed the world premiere of Blue at Arena Stage Theatre, which was also produced off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre. Following its record-breaking engagement here, Blue began a national tour co-produced by the Pasadena Playhouse. Earlier this year, Epps directed Purlie for the Encores! concert series in New York.

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Watch & Listen More

  • Purlie Rehearsal Photos