Mary Birnbaum’s recent production of The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall was hailed as “absurdly funny yet genuinely insightful” by The New York Times. In summer 2014, Birnbaum directed the world premiere of The Classical Style at the Ojai Music Festival and Cal Performances Berkeley.
Most recently, Birnbaum has directed in Houston (Hänsel und Gretel), New York (The Rape of Lucretia, Eugene Onegin, Le donne curiose, La finta giardinera and others at Juilliard), Melbourne, Israel, New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and the New York Festival of Song under Stephen Blier. In January 2015, she was nominated by Opera Magazine’s Opera Awards (UK) in the category of “Best Newcomer”. She is a 2015 winner of Opera America’s Director/Designer competition.
She has assisted director Stephen Wadsworth at Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera and on Broadway. She was an associate director of Wadsworth’s Ring cycle at Seattle Opera in 2013.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a certificate in movement and design from École Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She was the inaugural recipient of the Marcus Directing Fellowship at Juilliard.
Mary has also collaborated with playwrights to develop new plays in New York, Los Angeles and The Old Vic in London. She is an alumna of the Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab. Her most recent theatrical venture is a feminist pop concert, Baby No More Times, which has played at Ars Nova, Dixon Place, the Davenport Theater and The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
Birnbaum is the associate director of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard, where she teaches and coaches acting for singers at the undergraduate, masters, and post-graduate levels.