Natasha Sinha (co-founder)
Natasha Sinha is a producer and dramaturg, focusing on new plays and new musical work. As Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre, she spearheads new artistic programs for Signature, and she is artistic line producer for select plays and musicals. From 2012-2018, Natasha was Associate Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater which exclusively produces premieres (including DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar, Rude Mechs' STOP HITTING YOURSELF, Dave Malloy's PRELUDES, WAR by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, BULL IN A CHINA SHOP by Bryna Turner, GHOST LIGHT by Third Rail Projects, Martyna Majok's queens, and Antoinette Nwandu’s PASS OVER). She kicked off the LCT3 Spotlight Series with SHABASH!, hosted by Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena. Natasha was previously the Associate Producer at Barrington Stage Company. In addition to producing and developing new plays, Natasha has worked on new musicals, including projects by Michael R. Jackson, Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony, Grace McLean, Shakina Nayfack, Sam Salmond, and Kit Yan & Melissa Li. Natasha is a co-founder of Beehive Dramaturgy Studio, which works with individual generative artists as well as organizations such as Page 73, Musical Theatre Factory, Astoria Performing Arts Center, and SDC. Natasha is on the Advisory Boards of SPACE on Ryder Farm and Musical Theatre Factory (where she co-moderates MTF's POC Roundtable, exclusively for musical artists of color, and advises on various programs). She has served as a judge on many award committees, taught classes, written articles, and created events to center a range of exciting new voices from historically underrepresented communities.
SPECIALTIES: New Plays, New Musicals, New Devised Work, New Solo Work, Unconventional Storytelling, Plays With Music, Character Development, Social Justice
"I have always relied upon feedback from writer friends. Working with Natasha as a dramaturg was a new and wonderful world, First, there was the relief of not worrying that the feedback was going to be impacted by any concern for protecting my feelings. So no looking for the meaning behind the note. Natasha’s questions were smart and empathic. When I shared what I was trying to do she would tell me directly if she got it or not. Her thoughts moved my rewrite forward more efficiently. She also directed me towards elements in my work that I wasn’t aware of. This allowed me to remove or enhance what was already on the page. It was a great experience. I will be working with her in all my future projects."
—Tonya Pinkins, Tony Award winning actress, author, director, filmmaker
"I've been working on a pop opera about 12th century mystic and polymath Hildegard von Bingen for a few years, but it wasn't until I shared the work with Natasha that I started to understand how to put my material together in a comprehensive manner. Her questions, insights, and keen dramaturgical eye have helped me to shape a story out of my raw material, and her skills as a deep listener have in turn helped me to become sensitive to an audience's reception and response to the manner in which the story is told. I look forward to sharing my progress with Natasha because I trust her knowledge, experience and theatrical guts."
—Grace McLean, Writer/Composer/Performer
"Natasha’s skills as a dramaturg have been intensely beneficial for the new musical, Eighty-Sixed. Her ability to hone in on particular questions of character development helped push the authors to be much more specific, which really strengthened the arc for the protagonist. Her questions are never prescriptive or defensive – they are inquisitive, warm, and encouraging."
—Aaron Glick, Creative Producer
"Working with a dramaturg for the first time was like having a super-smart friend in the room who would ask all the right questions. When you've been writing a piece for so long it's easy to lose perspective, so the fresh eyes of a dramaturg was invaluable in tracking big picture stuff, like character arcs and theme. Natasha listened to us, what we were trying to do with our piece, and helped us get closer to our goal. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
—Ben Bonnema, Composer-Lyricist
"I cannot say enough great things about Natasha's dramaturg work. I've had two projects where I've had opportunities to work with her--first on my musical Teeth and then on my musical A Strange Loop. In both cases I found her to be extremely incisive and quick to align and engage with the right questions to address dramaturgical issues in each piece. In Teeth, Natasha has been thorough, thoughtful and smart as my collaborator and I work through a tricky narrative and tonal combination, helping us focus our thoughts and move collectively in a positive direction to complete our latest draft. In A Strange Loop I've been struggling with how to illustrate my protagonist's journey in an extremely non-conventional way and Natasha's insights helped me identify narrative and character gaps that would help me clarify for the audience the exact story I want to tell. I've also worked with Jeremy Stoller on this piece and his dramaturgical precision and open-mindedness was key to my process as I headed to Ucross via the Sundance Theatre Institute to work through a crucial draft. I feel quite fortunate to work with both of these artists; the relationships I've forged with them has been invaluable."
—Michael R. Jackson, Composer-Lyricist-Bookwriter
"While I technically knew what a dramaturg was in theory before actually working with one, the term might as well have been synonymous with 'wizard.' Turns out I wasn't that far off. Working with Natasha was such an enlightening, stabilizing experience, especially in the middle of a hectic workshop process, where it's easy to get caught up in the small stuff and lose track of narrative priorities. I always looked forward to debriefing with Natasha and hearing her feedback; these sessions gave me much-needed perspective and helped clarify my writing goals before rehearsal the next day."
—Christopher Staskel, Librettist
How I explain dramaturgy to my extended family/high school friends/civilians:
Dramaturgy is the rigorous work done to get deeper into the logic within a show (characters, plot, relationships, tone, etc.) and the work done to connect with the real world (social and cultural relevance). What I do as a dramaturg depends on what the show needs, which is always rooted in what the generative artists envision. So to give the broadest answer that applies to the widest range of ways I work as a dramaturg: I pose specific and relevant questions in order to more fully realize the experience that the artists want to create.
Most interesting non-theater job I've done:
Full time medical assistant for four summers. In high school. (!)
A great book I read recently:
I used to read a novel a day as a teenager, but between reading scripts and reading for specific projects, I often feel too guilty to read purely for "fun" reasons anymore! But the last one that hit me hard was probably Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.
Three recent theater shows that I loved (but wasn’t involved in):
Familiar, A Ride on the Irish Cream, Ironbound. It's painful to only select three!
A nostalgic theater experience from childhood/adolescence:
Saving lunch money to take the train dressed in black & white—to be a volunteer usher for Cabaret at Studio 54.
Favorite script-reading/artist meeting spot:
Indie Cafe or an LPQ. (As I simultaneously daydream about reading scripts in a Catskills cabin on a rainy day with farm sounds outside.