Podcast Episode 146 – Sheryl Kaller


In 2010, the beautiful little play entitled Next Fall came out of nowhere, earned a rave from Ben Brantley, signed Elton John as a Producer and opened on Broadway where it was nominated for Best Play.

It was one of those great surprises that happen every few years in the theater.

And one of the best results from Next Fall‘s rise to the top was that people started to take notice of one of the top female Directors we have in our ranks, Ms. Sheryl Kaller.

Sheryl has become known for directing intimate dramas like Next Fall (she helmed Mothers and Sons on Broadway with Tyne Daly, which I co-produced), but can handle anything you throw at her (a stage version of Frozen has been on cruise ships for the last year or so . . . guess who put that sucker up?).

That’s why I was eager to talk to her, and as usual, Sher didn’t disappoint, and told me her story and gave me her perspective on all things including:

  • What Bob Fosse “fought for” in his direction, and how that inspired her.
  • How she never felt like a female Director while she was in school . . . but only when she got into the business, and how that has changed (or not) since then.
  • The day she got scolded by an Actor for being too prepared.  And how that has affected her style since.
  • How she got back into the business after deciding to take time off to raise her family (and how that made her a better and more successful Director).
  • The process of pitching herself for a job . . . what she says to playwrights and Producers in order to earn their trust.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the 146 podcasts we’ve done here is that there is no one way to do anything in the theater.  There is only your way.

Listen to how Sheryl reached her goals and how she’s working her butt off to reach her new ones.

Click above to listen to my podcast with Sheryl!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

  • loreen spechler says:

    It was great to hear that Sheryl Kaller went to Emerson College because I graduated from Emerson as well.
    However, I graduated quite a few years before her and when Sheryl mentioned Leon Nicole it brought back great memories for me. He directed me in the production of West Side Story at the new England playhouse in Boston.
    I am presently writing a musical and I hope one day to get in touch with Ms. Kaller since we both went to Emerson.
    Great podcast.

  • Excellent podcast with Sheryl Kaller – a director I admire enormously!
    Loved both Ken’s very specific & efficient questions and Sheryl’s warmhearted and inspiring answers.
    Especially liked the part about how all experiences, not only the academic ones, but also life itself, the management skills required by motherhood, making children tidy up their rooms thinking it was their own their idea to do so – how all these experiences have helped Sheryl become the director she is today. Also, loved to hear about the way she works with playwrights during the process of directing. Many thanks Ken for inviting her!

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