Women in charge: Female creative teams and Waitress

Paige Allen, Stacy Wolf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Broadway musicals have long been dominated by all male, and all white, creative teams. While singular women have broken through Broadway's glass ceiling, it was not until 2015 that the lead creative positions were all held by women on a single Broadway musical: Waitress (Sara Bareilles as composer/lyricist, Jessie Nelson as librettist, Diane Paulus as director, and Lorin Latarro as choreographer). This chapter focuses on Broadway musicals with at least two women in charge. We examine pioneering figures like Agnes de Mille and Micki Grant and history-making productions like The Secret Garden (1991) and Fun Home (2010). We then concentrate on Waitress before concluding with recent women-led productions, like Hadestown (2019). While highlighting the contributions of women behind the scenes, we also interrogate the stories told about women onstage through a feminist lens. These backstage advances may mark a shift in future creative contributions by women to Broadway musicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMilestones in Musical Theatre
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000896251
ISBN (Print)9781032188263
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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