Currently the Head of Directing at the University of Washington School of Drama, I also serve as the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theatre lab. I have worked with professional theatre's across the country including: The Guthrie Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Seattle Rep, Playmakers Repertory Comany, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, and Southern Repertory Theatre among others.
Awards: 2020: Seattle Times Most Influential People of the Last Decade; 2019: Theatre Puget Sound - Gregory Falls Award for Sustained Achievement; 2016: Seattle Times Footlight Award (Best in Show) 2014: Stranger Genius Awards in Performance and the Crosscut Courage Award for Culture; 2012: Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Direction; 2001: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s (SDCF) Gielgud Directing Fellowship 1997-1999: NEA/TCG Career Development Fellowship for Directors
(The ones I’d kill to do):
Tracey Scott-Wilson's "The Good Negro"
August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come And Gone"
Marcus Gardley's "Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi"
Alex Dinelaris' "Red Dog Howls"
Naomi Wallace's "Things of Dry Hours" or "The Liquid Plan"
Jordan Harrison's "Maple and Vine"
Virginia Grise's "blu"
Anything from the Federal Theatre Project - I love those big messy plays
Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" (DONE! Intiman Theatre 2011)
Anything/Everything by Alice Childress
Guthrie Theatre 2016 - "Trouble in Mind Intiman Theatre 2016 - "Wedding Band"
A Ccontemporary Theatre , 2006 -
“Wine in the Wilderness”
Suzann-Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts 1,2 &3 (Southern Repertory Theater, 2017)
Eisa Davis' "Bulrusher" (Intiman Theatre 2019)
"Find the fear in the room, and face it."
ABOUT TROUBLE IN MIND
“Trouble in Mind,” which opened Friday on the proscenium stage, is by large measure the season’s best production. Joe Haj will direct “South Pacific” this summer so there are still golfers on the course but Valerie Curtis-Newton’s sharp and honest staging of Alice Childress’ script is the leader in the clubhouse.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAINTOP
"This production of THE MOUNTAINTOP is a fiercely directed, boldly acted and brilliantly designed tour de force for the theater company. It's compelling, engaging, riveting theater from start to finish. Ms. Curtis-Newton's direction firmly navigates the complicated waters of the script. It is the typical assured handling of material that Seattle theater goers have come to expect from the director."