Date of Birth: October 17, 1954
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Susan Stroman began taking ballet, jazz and tap dance lessons at the age of five. In high school, she choreographed school plays and acted in community theater. She went on to major in theater at the University of Delaware and while still a student, began her professional career in a 1974 summer stock production of Hit the Deck at the Goodspeed Opera House. Following graduation in 1976, she moved to New York City to try her hand at the Great White Way.
Stroman toured in the original productions of Bob Fosse's Chicago and the revue Sugar Babies before making her Broadway debut in 1979 in the musical comedy revival Whoopee! The following year she was hired as assistant director and choreographer of Musical Chairs.
She went on to direct two Off-Broadway revues, then collaborated on an Off-Broadway production of Flora, The Red Menace. The revival was a hit and brought Stroman well-deserved attention within the Broadway ranks. As a result she was invited by Hal Prince to choreograph his New York City Opera production of Don Giovanni.
As a choreographer, she worked on productions of Crazy for You (for which she won her first Tony Award), Picnic, Show Boat (winning her second Tony Award), and Steel Pier before branching out as a director/choreographer on the hit musical Contact (which she co-created and for which she won her third Tony Award), The Music Man, and The Producers, starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. The latter was the biggest hit of the 2001 season, and Stroman won numerous awards for both her choreography and her direction, including Tony Awards, and she went on to direct the feature film version.
Stroman received a 2000 American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film for Center Stage (2000) and was nominated for an Emmy in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography for the TV special Liza Minnelli Live from Radio City Music Hall. On October 10, 2005, she was presented with an Elan Award for her work as a choreographer.
Her husband, Tony-nominated stage director Mike Ockrent, died December 1999 of acute leukemia.
The Producers (2005)