ARI LAURA KREITH is a theatre director and the Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directed The Jackson Heights Trilogy: 167 TONGUES, YOU ARE NOW THE OWNER OF THIS SUITCASE, and JACKSON HEIGHTS 3AM (PBS Pick-of-the-Week) — three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages, inspired by the world’s most diverse neighborhood.
Other Theatre 167 projects include Antu Yacob's MOURNING SUN, which premiered at Theatre 167 and toured to the Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda, J.Stephen Brantley's PIRIRA, set simultaneously in Malawi and New York, which received the 2014 NYIT Award for Outstanding Premiere Production Of A Play and transferred Off-Broadway, and the multi-writer CHURCH OF WHY NOT, inspired by an interfaith activist community.
Commissions include three pieces for Queens Theatre's WORLDS FAIR PLAYS (NY Times Critics' Pick,) I LIKE TO BE HERE: JACKSON HEIGHTS REVISITED, or, THIS IS A MANGO at the New Ohio for the Obie-winning Theatre:Village Festival, and the National Geographic-sponsored HOW WE ARE CONNECTED at Brooklyn Museum and El Museo del Barrio. Musical theatre highlights include DREAMHOUSE, which she also co-created, and the European premiere of Adam Guettel’s MYTHS AND HYMNS.
She has crafted immersive, site-specific projects for Queens Museum and the NY Transit Museum, and developed a site-specific version of Marina Budhos' novel WATCHED, which explores the impact of surveillance on Muslim-American communities.
Other recent projects include the world premiere of Tina Howe's SINGING BEACH at HERE Arts Center, and RACHEL, a new musical about environment activist Rachel Carson.
She is a current recipient of the NJ Women Playwrights Project fellowship, and is expanding her adaptation of WATCHED into a full-length play.
With Theatre 167, Ari received the 2015 NYIT Caffe Cino Award for consistently producing outstanding innovative theatre. Ari also received the 2016 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award in recognition of her work as a director and the body of work Theatre 167 has created under her leadership.
BA: Yale University. MFA: UC Davis.
"Ari is one of those rare directors who somehow knows how to push actors beyond limitations they didn't even know they had...simply by asking questions no one dares to ask. She is inquisitive, brave, and above all else generous. Her playful hunger to explore the depths of a character or text in the rehearsal room allows actors to make choices they would have never otherwise thought of. Some of the most explosive performances I have ever witnessed were crafted under her caring, generous, and meticulous eye."
--Todd Flaherty, actor (Pirira; Sleep No More)