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Press Contact:
Rick Miramontez / Michael Jorgensen
rick@omdkc.com / michael@omdkc.com



New York, NY (November 14, 2018) – Waterwell announced today that Obie Award-winning director Lee Sunday Evans has been named its new Artistic Director following an extensive national search. Evans is both a prominent director, with work produced at important venues including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, BAM, Lincoln Center Theater, the Humana Festival, and The Play Company, and a long-time Waterwell collaborator, beginning as a teacher, director, and mentor of young artists in the Waterwell Drama Program.

“Lee Sunday Evans has a strong commitment to civic engagement in all her work, as a director, educator, and leader,” said Arian Moayed, Waterwell’s co-Founder and Board Chair. “Waterwell works with artists and educators to create socially conscious and civic-minded entertainment. Lee is exactly the visionary artist to help us do more of that work, and it is inspiring to have her take the helm as Artistic Director. Waterwell is about combining art and empathy, and that is exactly what Lee brings to our theater and our community.”

“I am thrilled to join Waterwell and build on their legacy of creating fervently contemporary, wildly engaging works of theater that have arresting civic questions at their core,” said Lee Sunday Evans. “I have spent a great deal of my artistic career exploring how to create work that is surprising, rigorous, entertaining, and offers opportunities for audiences to reckon with the most pressing questions about our lives, our relationships, and the world we live in. Stepping into the Artistic Director role at Waterwell is an incredible opportunity to create, direct, and produce engrossing, complex, life-affirming theater that I hope will contribute to the increasingly vital role that theater can play in our generation.”

Evans succeeds Tom Ridgely, who co-founded Waterwell with Arian Moayed in 2002 and served as Artistic Director until earlier this year when he accepted a new position as the Executive Producer at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Her appointment completes Waterwell’s new leadership team, which includes Lee Sunday Evans, Arian Moayed, Managing Director Adam J. Frank, and Director of Education Heather Lanza.

Waterwell’s next artistic project, led by Arian Moayed and Lee Sunday Evans, will bring audiences closer to the immigration process. Details to be announced soon.


Lee Sunday Evans is an Obie Award-winning Director + Choreographer. Her recent productions include: Dance Nation by Clare Barron (Playwrights Horizons), Intractable Woman by Stefano Massini and Caught by Christopher Chen (The Play Company), The Things That Were There by David Greenspan (The Bushwick Starr), [Porto] by Kate Benson (WP Theater/Bushwick Starr), HOME by Geoff Sobelle and Farmhouse/Whorehouse by Suzanne Bocanegra (BAM Next Wave Festival), Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew (Dallas Theater Center), The Winter’s Tale (The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit), Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner (LCT3), Macbeth (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue (Humana Festival), D Deb Debbie Deborah by Jerry Lieblich (Clubbed Thumb), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes by Kate Benson (New Georges/WP Theater). Additionally, she creates collaboratively devised work with CollaborationTown; their next production The Riddle of the Trilobites will premiere in Flint, Michigan in 2019. Her work has been presented/developed at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Theater Lab, BAX, CATCH, LMCC, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and Juilliard among others. She received the 2017 SDC Breakout Award, and the 2016 Susan Stroman Directing Award from The Vineyard Theater.

Waterwell (Lee Sunday Evans, Artistic Director; Adam J. Frank, Managing Director; Heather Lanza, Director of Education; Arian Moayed, co-founder and Board Chair) is a non-profit, civic-minded theater and education company that strives to prove itself a vital presence in the lives of its audience by remaining always responsive: responsive to the events affecting the world, to changing modes of expression, and to the individuals attending each performance. Through entertainment and arts education, Waterwell hopes to inspire audiences and students to change their lives and the world in which they live. The company’s two most recent productions were a dual-language, English-Farsi Hamlet, and Blueprint Specials, a collection of short musicals written during WWII performed by a 60+ cast comprised of veterans and professional actors on the hangar deck of the Intrepid Air + Space Museum. Founded in 2002 by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely, the company’s blend of music, theater, and social dialogue has been nominated for a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award, and a Village Voice Best of NYC. The New York Times hails the company’s work as, “brilliant, original, and inspired. Alive enough to surprise even the performers themselves,” and TheaterMania writes, “Waterwell has staked a claim on our collective conscience.” Since 2003, Waterwell has offered structured classes in collaborative play-making, or “devising.” By 2010, those educational activities had grown and coalesced into the Waterwell Drama Program, which now delivers – in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) – top-quality, year-round, in-school theater training to over 200 NYC public school students. The program cultivates the student-artist holistically, demands that they develop both as an interpreter and as a creator, and aims to place their work in dialogue with what’s going on outside the classroom – in their homes, communities, and the world at large.

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