Thomas Kail (born January 20, 1978) is an American film and theatre director, known for directing the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, for which he received the 2016 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Kail was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in 2018.
|Born||January 20, 1978|
Alexandria, Virginia, United States
|Occupation||Film and theatre director|
|Awards||SSDC Joseph A. Callaway Award (for In the Heights); 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Hamilton; 2016 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Hamilton|
Kail grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from Sidwell Friends School in 1995 and subsequently from Wesleyan University in 1999. He remains good friends with Lin-Manuel Miranda, with whom he met and co-created the freestyle hip-hop group "Freestyle Love Supreme".
After graduating from Wesleyan University, Kail became assistant stage manager at New Jersey's American Stage Company.
Kail directed the 24 Hour Plays benefit performances in 2007 and 2008, where "6 short plays are written, rehearsed, directed, and performed in 24 hours." In 2007, he directed Julia Jordan's A Bus Stop Play, and Beau Willimon's Zusammenbruch in 2008. Both shows played at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.
Kail directed the hit Broadway musical In the Heights, which garnered him a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical. The musical premiered on Broadway, starting in previews on February 14, 2008, with an official opening on March 9, 2008, at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Kail directed Broke-ology, which played from October 5, 2009, to November 22, 2009, at the Lincoln Center Theater Off-Broadway. This play garnered Kail an AUDELCO Award nomination for Best Director of a Dramatic Production. Kail also staged the world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Also in 2009, Kail directed the New York City Center's Encores! production of the musical The Wiz.
Kail directed Eric Simonson's play Lombardi, based on Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi through a week in the 1965 season, as he attempts to lead his team to the championship. Lombardi officially premiered on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre on October 21, 2010.
Kail reunited with Lombardi playwright Eric Simonson on Magic/Bird, a new play chronicling the intertwined life stories of basketball Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The play premiered on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on March 21, 2012, in previews, officially on April 11, 2012, and closed on May 12, 2012. Kail directed, with the cast that featured Kevin Daniels as "Magic" Johnson and Tug Coker as Larry Bird.
Kail directed Grease: Live for Paramount Television, screened live on Fox on Sunday January 31, 2016; the world premiere of Dry Powder with Hank Azaria, Claire Danes, John Krasinski and Sanjit De Silva which ran March–May 2016 at The Public Theater in New York City; and Tiny Beautiful Things, also at The Public, in November–December 2016.
|2006||Critical Hours||Director, writer, executive producer||Television pilot|
|2008||Roadtrip Nation||Himself||TV episode|
|In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams||Himself||Episode of PBS' Great Performances|
|The Electric Company||Musical director||TV series|
|2010||The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special||Director||Talk show episode|
|2012||2 Broke Girls||Director||TV series; 3 episodes|
|2015||The Jack and Triumph Show||Director||TV series; 2 episodes|
|2016||Grease: Live||Director, co-executive producer||Live TV special|
|2019||Fosse/Verdon||Director, executive producer||TV series|
|TBA||Silver Wings||Director||Feature film|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2007||Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Director of a Musical||In the Heights||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Director of a Musical||Nominated|
|SDC Joseph A. Callaway Award||Best Director||Won|
|2008||Tony Award||Best Director of a Musical||Nominated|
|2010||AUDELCO Award||Best Director of a Dramatic Production||Broke-ology||Nominated|
|2011||NAACP Award||Best Director of a Musical||In the Heights||Won|
|AUDELCO Award||Best Director of a Dramatic Production||When I Come To Die||Nominated|
|2014||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Director of a Play||Family Furniture||Nominated|
|2015||Lucille Lortel Award||Outstanding Director||Hamilton||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Director of a Musical||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Director of a Musical||Won|
|2016||Tony Award||Best Direction of a Musical||Won|
|Emmy Award||Outstanding Special Class Program||Grease: Live||Won|
|Emmy Award||Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special||Won|
|2018||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Director||Hamilton||Nominated|
|Kennedy Center Honors||(shared with Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire and Lin-Manuel Miranda)||Won|||
- Bacalzo, Daniel. "In the Heights Director Thomas Kail Receives Martin E. Segal Award". Theatre Mania. 2010-05-10.
- "Thomas Kail" Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. Lincoln Center Theater. July 31, 2009.
- American Theatre Wing. "Biographies – Thomas Kail, Director" Archived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine, June 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2011-05-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Playbill's Who's Who Biographies" Archived 2010-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Hetrick, Adam. "In the Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda Sets Freestyle Love Supreme Date at Irving Plaza" Archived 2011-01-08 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill. January 5, 2011.
- "Thomas Kail" broadway.com
- The Broadway League. 24 Hour Plays (2007) | IBDB: The Official Source for Broadway Information. Internet Broadway Database
- The Broadway League. 24 Hour Plays (2008) | IBDB: The Official Source for Broadway Information. Internet Broadway Database
- Kennedy, Mark. "Thomas Kail Enjoying His 'Year of Transition'". ABC News. 2010-12-10.
- Kenneth Jones. "In the Heights Will Play Broadway's Richard Rodgers Starting February 2008" Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.
- Brokeology. Lortel Archives/Internet Off-Broadway Database.
- Hetrick, Adam. Tony Nominee Kail and Jackson Will Collaborate for Upcoming LCT3 Season Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill.
- "Thomas Kail to Direct The Wiz for New York City Center" TheaterMania. February 24, 2009.
- NY City Center's The Wiz listing
- Gans, Andrew. "The Wiz Ends Limited City Center Engagement July 5", playbill.com, July 5, 2009
- "N.F.L. Gets Behind Lombardi". nytimes.com. 2010-08-20. Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth. "Heights Director Kail to Direct Football-Themed Lombardi at Broadway's Circle in the Square" Archived 2010-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, April 14, 2010
- Murray, Larry (2010-05-18). "Lombardi". Berkshire On Stage. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "Lombardi, IBDB: The Official Source for Broadway Information". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- When I Come To Die. Lortel Archives/Internet Off-Broadway Database.
- "Magic/Bird Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed September 26, 2015
- "Thomas Kail Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed September 25, 2015
- "Grease:Live, About the Show" fox.com. Accessed February 2, 2016
- "The Verdict: What Do Critics Think of Dry Powder?" by Olivia Clement, Playbill, March 23, 2016
- Galuppo, Mia. "'Hamilton' Director to Helm WWII Female Pilots Movie 'Silver Wings'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Gans, Andrew (July 25, 2018). "Hamilton Creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire Will Receive Special Kennedy Center Honors". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-07-26.