A producer and director, Ilana Becker specializes in new play and musical development, investigative and verbatim material, immersive and site-specific theatre, community-driven projects, and arts education.
Ilana is the The Civilians' R&D Program Director and Gingold Theatrical Group's Associate Director. Recent Line Producing includes projects with CollaborationTown, All for One Theater, and the Jewish Plays Project. She is a proud member of the WP Theater 2018-2020 Producers Lab, The Civilians' R&D Group, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, DirectorsLabChicago, Fresh Ground Pepper's PlayGroup, Bastard Playground, was a Playwrights Horizons Robert Moss Directing Fellow and an Emerging Leaders of NY Arts Fellow, and is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Ilana served as the Associate Artistic Director and the Interim Artistic Director of Company of Fools/Sun Valley Center for the Arts, in beautiful and dynamic central Idaho, for its 22nd season. Direction there includes Life Sucks (with late Artistic Director John Glenn's vision in mind), Bright Half Life, and Striking 12, as well as developmental readings of Pal by Tasha Gordon-Solmon and a commissioned short musical for young audiences about local pollinating creatures by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Erato A. Kremmyda.
She is the creator of Argument Sessions, an ongoing series of immersive events that weaves Supreme Court of the United States argument transcripts and decisions with collaboratively developed, ensemble-driven original material.
Ilana has also directed and developed new work at New York City Center with The Civilians, ART/NY with Project Y Theatre, The Tank, The Lark, The Flea, Ars Nova, Dixon Place, New York Theatre Workshop, National Black Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, 54 Below, Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, Pittsburgh Fringe (Best Ensemble), FringeNYC, Samuel French Festival, and Kalamazoo Center for the Arts, among several others.
She has enjoyed educational directing experiences with NYU Tisch New Musical Theatre Workshop's New Studio on Broadway, NYU’s MFA Dramatic Writing Program, Columbia University's MFA Playwriting Program, Hunter College, Barnard College, Stevens Technical Institute, and Hunter College Elementary School.
Additional projects as producer and director include a site-specific production of Waiting for Lefty at the Hartley House; Beer Plays, an evening of craft beers paired with short plays; and Around the Block, a roaming collection of investigative pieces written about and performed in New York neighborhoods, co-produced with fellow LCT Director's Lab colleagues.
She has had the pleasure of serving as Associate Director and Assistant Director for Terry Kinney, Anne Kauffman, Pam MacKinnon, Sam Gold, Jonathan Silverstein, and Nick Corley on Broadway, Off Broadway, at BAM with This American Life, in NYMF, with Woodshed Collective, and was featured in the January 2012 issue of American Theatre magazine in a piece about her early experiences as an Assistant Director.
In her first few years navigating New York, Ilana served as a dramaturg and stage manager on several projects. She spent two years working in the Theatre Literary Department at Bret Adams, Ltd., and assisted William Finn at Barrington Stage. She also acted a bit, toured schools with TYA companies, and danced like a 90's bar mitzvah entertainer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Ilana studied theatre at Emerson College, The National Theatre Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center and St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy, Yale Drama's Summer Program, HB Studios, and ESPA. She grew up in the suburbs of South Florida and spent nine of those delightfully awkward adolescent summers at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in the Catskills.
photo by Kirsten Shultz