ANYA SAFFIR is a theater director, educator and native New Yorker based in Brooklyn. Directing highlights include Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at Theater for a New City, winner of an ITBA Award for Outstanding Show and an Innovative Theater Award for Best Original Score, Hamlet with Orpheus Productions, for which she was nominated for an Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Direction, American Sojourns: Three Plays by Thornton Wilder at The Moscow Art Theater, an all-male Romeo and Juliet at The American Theater of Actors, Much Ado About Nothing at American Repertory Theater and a new translation of Chekhov’s The Seagull which she co-developed with Moti Margolin.
Most recently Anya directed the critically acclaimed operetta The Velveteen Rabbit which she co-wrote with composer Cormac Bluestone and which enjoyed a sold-out run at The Atlantic Theater Company. Her many projects with longtime collaborator Bluestone include six Shakespeare plays, all with original music played live by the cast. Music from their productions has been performed around the US and in Russia, Turkey, Australia and Korea. Anya has directed numerous original works at Atlantic Theater Company for their 10×25 Play Festival and New Works Series.
Anya has served as Artistic Associate at Classic Stage Company and is a regular contributor on Shakespeare topics for National Public Radio’s The Takeaway with John Hockenberry. She is a longtime faculty member at Atlantic Theater Acting School where she is a master teacher of Practical Aesthetics and she has served as Adjunct Professor in the Drama Department at The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her classes include advanced scene study in Chekhov, Shakespeare, Throughline Technique and Postwar British Drama- a class she developed based on her interest in the dialectical political theater movement that emerged in the UK after WWII, inspired by the work of Bertolt Brecht. She has directed numerous student productions on the Atlantic’s Stage 2 and at NYU, from Shakespeare to Chekhov to Caryl Churchill. In 2013 and 2015 she was a guest director and guest speaker at the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.
Anya holds a B.F.A. in Drama from The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University