2017 Top 40 Under 40: Nathaniel Shaw, 38 

Artistic Director, Virginia Repertory Theatre

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Scott Elmquist

Both of Nathaniel Shaw’s parents were modern dancers. His dad was even on the cover of Dance Magazine the month he was born – a story he still loves.

Shaw wound up in the New York theater world, running Active Theater, an off-off-Broadway company devoted to developing new plays as well as working for Glass Half Full Productions, a Tony and Olivier-award-winning producer.

Having worked as associate choreographer for the Broadway production of “Once,” he was looking for opportunities to direct and choreograph and reached out to Virginia Rep in Richmond, Shaw says.

When the theater wanted to hire an artistic director to feature more new play development, Shaw got the job and moved here a year ago.

Right away, he’s embarked on ambitious plans with nationally recognized collaborators and producers including Glass Half Full for the “River Ditty” world premiere coming in April and the University of Virginia for the co-commission of a new play. While directing “In the Heights,” Shaw also engaged the local Latino community in the production, including 11 Latino and African-American performers.

He doesn’t regret moving here from New York.

“The actors, directors, designers that make work in Richmond are as talented and dedicated to produce at a high quality as in any market in the country,” he says.



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