Best rising theater director - 2007
Over the past 60 years, only two women have won the Tony Award for best direction of a play. (I used to think three women had, but it seems that Vivian Matalon is a man.) Annie Kauffman hasn't won a Tony, and it will likely be a decade or so before her name shows up on the list of nominees. But as her Obie last year suggests, if you're an Off- or Off-Off-Broadway show, Kauffman is one to charm with. With a style both quirky and meticulous, Kauffman cultivates a nonchalance that comes from lots and lots of rehearsal. Specializing in complicated, language-heavy plays, she's enhanced works by Anne Washburn, Adam Bock, Jenny Schwartz, and Jordan Harrison. Though we're losing her to regional theaters for much of the 2007-8 season, we're sure she'll return to New York with more Thugs and more Ladies, her mouth to God's Ear.