Cara L. Reichel Director ~ Writer ~ Producer
“Cara Reichel's tight direction emphasizes the emotion of each moment, whether intense, humorous or romantic. The action always flows smoothly, and the energy never wanes, even in the quieter moments.”
Composer / Lyricist Peter Mills
The Hello Girls
The Susan Gurman Agency
The Hello Girls and Illyria are licensed by Theatrical Rights Worldwide.
The Hello Girls has a cast recording available from Broadway Records.
The Illyria cast recording is available from the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge has an original cast recording available on Amazon.com.
The Taxi Cabaret is published and licensed by Concord Theatricals.
Cara is an NYC-based theatrical director, writer, and producer. She was born in Oxford, Mississippi, grew up in Rome, Georgia, and attended Princeton University. She is the Producing Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Company, which she co-founded in 1998, and is a leader in the field of new musical theater development.
Through Prospect, Cara collaborates with fellow company founder, composer / lyricist Peter Mills. Together, they have co-created over a dozen original musicals, including The Hello Girls (multiple 2019 Drama Desk & Outer Critics' Circle Award nominations), Death for Five Voices, The Underclassman (aka The Pursuit of Persephone), Evergreen, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Honor, The Rockae, The Flood, Lonely Rhymes, The Alchemists, Illyria, and The Taxi Cabaret. Upcoming works-in- process include the musicals Soldier's Heart and The Mystery of the Somerton Man, and a new comedy, The Resurrectionist. With Peter Mills she has founded a summer arts retreat in Southern Italy, called Nuova Musica.
As a director, Cara recently collaborated with Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum on the NYC premiere of their musical Einstein's Dreams (Prospect @ 59E59 Theaters) which received multiple 2020 Drama Desk Award nominations. And, she worked closely with Susan DiLallo, Peter Mills, and Stephen Weiner on the creation of Iron Curtain, an original musical which received the 2006 Innovative Theatre Award for “Outstanding Production of a Musical,” and for which she also received an “Outstanding Director” IT Award nomination. She directed Iron Curtain at the O’Neill Theatre Center (2008), at NAMT's 2009 Festival of New Musicals, and in its 2011 critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere.
As a bookwriter, Cara was recently commissioned by Theatrical Rights Worldwide to create the book for a new, feminist juke-box musical, The Olympians. She is collaborating with Jesse L. Kearney, Alphonso Horne, and Mills on the creation of a new jazz musical inspired by the life of Oscar Micheaux, America's first major Black filmmaker. She also collaborated with lyricist Marion Adler and composer/lyricist Peter Foley on I Capture the Castle, adapted from the beloved British novel by Dodie Smith, workshopped in 2013 in the Pace New Musicals program. She has participated in the Goodspeed Musicals Johnny Mercer Writers Grove, the Weston Playhouse Artists' Retreat, and the Rhinebeck Writers' Retreat developing new works. She was a 2019 Fellow at the Women's International Study Center (Santa Fe, NM) and received a 2015 Bogliasco Fellowship to conduct research and work in Italy.
Also through Prospect, Cara has collaborated with many other emerging and established writers on readings, workshops, and productions of new work, including Michele Brourman, Sheilah Rae, and Thomas Edward West on I Married Wyatt Earp (aka The Belle of Tombstone), Susan DiLallo and Stephen Weiner on Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, Michael Cooper and Hyeyoung Kim on Sunfish, and Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain on The Book of the Dun Cow. She has a passion for re-interpreting classic works and has directed adaptations of The House of Bernarda Alba, Purcell's DIDO (& Aeneas), Danton’s Death, Twelfth Night, Everyman, and others.
Regional directing credits include: The Hello Girls regional premiere at Phoenix Theatre Company (AZ), Once Upon A Time in New Jersey at Surflight Theatre (NJ), Barcelona and The Alchemists for the Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals (WA), Sacagawea and Can You Hear Me, Baby? at the Goodwill Theatre (NY), and school touring productions of Julius Ceasar and The Nightingale for GMT Productions (GA). Internationally, she has directed at the Teatro Carlo Gesualdo in Italy, and for Broadway au Carré in Paris, France.
Cara was honored to receive the 2002 “Lucille Lortel Award” for Emerging Women Artists from the League of Professional Theatre Women, an organization which she served on the board and from 2009-2011 as the Vice-President of Communications. She received 2004 and 2007 “New Directors / New Works” Grants from the Drama League, and participated in the Drama League's 2012 international exchange with Bulgarian theatres.
As a theater educator, Cara served as a lecturer for Princeton University's 2022 Global Seminar Program in Italy, for which she co-created and directed a site specific, immersive musical theater event. She has also has been a Visiting Artist / Lecturer at Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts Atelier Program, a teaching artist at Pace University and Molloy College, and has taught Master Classes for the American Theatre Wing's Springboard Program.
Cara was educated at Princeton University, from which she graduated in 1996 with an A.B. in Anthropology and a Certificate in Theater, and in the M.F.A. Program for Directing at Brooklyn College, where she was named 2006 “Alumna of the Year.” She has worked as an administrative staff member at Manhattan Theatre Club, American Ballet Theatre, and HERE Arts Center. As a high school student, Cara published a children’s book, A Stone Promise, which she wrote and illustrated (Landmark Editions Inc., 1991), and was a 1992 Presidential Scholar.
She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the League of Professional Theatre Women, a Lincoln Center Directors Lab alum, and a Trustee of the Princeton Triangle Club.