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5 minutes with a Tony nominee: ‘Suffs’’ Leigh Silverman

With her second Broadway musical, the director scores a second Tony Award nod.

Leigh Silverman attends the 77th Annual Tony Awards Meet the Nominees Press Event at Sofitel New York on May 02, 2024, in New York City. (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Leigh Silverman made her Broadway musical directing debut with 2014’s “Violet,” for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. Prior to that musical — and since — Silverman’s Main Stem credits have stood firmly in the realm of straight plays: 2006’s “Well,” 2011’s “Chinglish,” 2018’s “The Lifespan of a Fact” and 2020’s “Grand Horizons.”

Now, Silverman returns to Broadway with the new musical “Suffs.” No matter the theatrical form, Silverman demonstrates an ability to hone in on the emotional foundation of a story and the goal of a production. As she said about “Suffs”: “We wanted to make a show that would feel inspiring to people, that would entertain them, that would kind of knock their socks off with great music, but that was also a heart-forward show.”

The process to bring “Suffs” to Broadway had its challenges, but Silverman led the team to overcome them and open at the Music Box Theatre on April 18. Here, the director shares lessons she learned from the musical’s Off-Broadway production, highlights aspects of the Broadway mounting and more.

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