Artist Bios

Liesl Tommy

Liesl Tommy

(Bio as of October 2019)

Liesl Tommy (Director) is an award-winning international theater director. She is known for her development of exciting new works as well as her innovative interpretation of classics. World premieres include Eclipsed by Danai Gurira starring Lupita Nyong’o on Broadway, for which Tommy was Tony Award-nominated for Best Direction of a PlayThe Good NegroThe Urban RetreatInformed ConsentKid VictoryParty People, and Appropriate.

Liesl has also adapted Disney’s blockbuster animated film Frozen as a Disneyland musical. Classics include her modern day Les Miserables, the first time the show was reimagined multi-culturally; HamletA Raisin in the SunMa Rainey's Black Bottom and a four-city tour of Ruined.

Tommy facilitated the inaugural Sundance East Africa Theatre Director’s Lab in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serves as Associate Artist at Berkeley RepProgram Associate at Sundance Institute Theatre Program; and Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees.

In film and television, Tommy has helmed episodes of Queen Sugar, Insecure and The Walking Dead. She recently signed on to direct the MGM biopic Respect, based on the life of Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson. Tommy will also direct Born a Crime for Paramount Players, based on Trevor Noah's best-selling memoir.

With Goodman Theatre