Film, television, and theatre director

Claudia Weill

Claudia Weill is a film, television, and theatre director. After graduating Harvard in 1969, she made 30 short films for Sesame Street (still on the air) and directed documentaries, notably This is the Home of Mrs. Levant Graham (Kennedy Journalism Award) and The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, with Shirley MacLaine, released theatrically in 1975 (Academy Award Nomination). She produced and directed her first feature, Girlfriends, in 1979 with Melanie Mayron, Chris Guest, Bob Balaban, and Eli Wallach, which she sold to Warner Brothers after winning multiple awards at Cannes, Filmex, and Sundance. Next she directed It’s my Turn for Columbia Pictures, with Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas and Charles Grodin, winning the Donatello (European Oscar) for Best New Director. She then starts directing new theatre plays at Williamstown, The O’Neill, Sundance, ACT, Empty Space and in New York at MTC, the Public and Circle Rep among others. In 1984, she was nominated for the Drama Desk Best Director Award for the premiere of Donald Margulies’ Found a Peanut, produced by Joe Papp at the Public Theatre.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1985, she began working in television, directing episodic, cable movies and pilots. She is most well-known for multiple episodes of Thirtysomething (Humanitas and Emmy Awards), My So-Called Life, Chicago Hope (Reynolds Award), Once and Again, and TV movies, including Johnny Bull with Jason Robards, Kathy Bates, and Colleen Dewhurst, and Face of a Stranger with Tyne Daly, Gena Rowlands, (Emmy Best Actress). Afterwards, she returns to theatre and directs numerous plays such as Doubt at the Pasadena Playhouse, and End Days at the Vineyard Playhouse.

Weill has guest taught directing for film, television and theatre at Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Julliard and taught Film Directing in the MFA program at Cal Arts. She is on the faculty at USC School of Cinema where she teaches Directing. She was a Juror with Elvis Mitchell for the Nashville Film Festival and regularly mentors young writers and directors around the country, serves on the Directors’ Executive Committee for the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and on the Board of Antaeus, the only classical theatre in LA.

© Ensemble Studio Theatre

Has participated in