VCU alum makes strides on Broadway, working with notable creators

Drewe Goldstein directs different mediums of entertainment, like the music video “what’s left?” Photo courtesy of Drewe Goldstein

Hadia Moosvi, Contributing Writer

VCUarts alum Drewe Goldstein first got involved with theater at the age of eight. Now, she lives and works in New York City where she’s helped with the fruition of Broadway productions like “Hamilton” and “Bliss,” according to Goldstein.

Goldstein, who uses both she and they pronouns, studied acting at VCU and graduated in December 2020. After graduating, Goldstein said she became an intern for Baseline Theatrical in New York, a general management company for Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She is currently working as an assistant director for two Broadway productions, “Bliss” and “A Walk on the Moon.”

“I graduated college and I was really nervous about being in, essentially, Broadway rooms,” Goldstein said. “I wasn’t ever expecting that it would be happening so soon.”

Goldstein said the VCU theatre program gave her the opportunity to collaborate with peers and professors on productions during college and even after graduation. 

“I tend to reach out to collaborators I’ve worked with before, see if they’re available and free, and then I usually ask them to pick a new assistant that I have never worked with,” Goldstein said. “That way I can sort of get to know new people along the way.”

Illustration by Sarah Brady

Goldstein said she was part of the management side of theater while interning at Baseline Theatrical, where she would look over paperwork and contracts for the Broadway productions of “Hamilton,” “Passover” and “Freestyle Love Supreme.”

“I really wanted to understand what working on a really large scale production such as ‘Hamilton’ looks like and how that money is allocated and where contracts go, and how much people get paid for the certain things that they’re doing,” Goldstein said.

Baseline Theatrical was also the management team for “Bliss,” which Goldstein said gave her the opportunity to meet and work with Tony Award-nominated theater director Sheryl Kaller. 

Goldstein said she asked the general manager of “Bliss” for a chance to sit in on a rehearsal and introduced herself to Kaller after getting approval for the musical.

Kaller didn’t have an assistant director for the project yet and asked Goldstein to act as assistant director for the day to see how it would go, according to Goldstein. 

“I have been really lucky to work with a director that is really, really educated on equity, diversity and inclusion, who is really interested in bringing in people of color and trans people into the room,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein said a big part of her job as an assistant director is to make sure everyone on the production feels “comfortable and safe.”

“If there’s any emotional content that comes up that they can broach it safely, and that it doesn’t feel like a therapy session for them, but rather feels like an artistic journey that feels comfortable for them to go on,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein worked on theater productions in Richmond after graduating and making strides in New York. She directed a production titled “El Eterno Femenino” at the Firehouse Theatre in spring 2021 alongside VCU students and graduates.

“I approached it fully as a professional production. Our team was all getting paid on it,” Goldstein said. “Majority of us working on it were either students at the time or just recently graduated.”

Wes Seals, assistant professor of acting and musical theater, said he had the opportunity to work with Goldstein on a theatrical production of “Sense and Sensibility” in 2019. 

Seals said he wanted to make Goldstein the movement director in the adaptation after seeing her use of aesthetics in “God of Carnage” — a play directed by Goldstein at the Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theater. 

“I just was really captivated by her aesthetic and her vision and the way that she used such a specific and colorful, just the way that she used lighting, the way that she used movement,” Seals said. “I was like, ‘I want to work with that person.’”

Seals said Goldstein was able to add an emotional effect and meaning behind any production she was working on. 

“There is this determination to be a walking embodiment of truth,” Seals said. “It’s not just like, ‘Let me do work because it’s flashing and it’s showing.’ She can make it a flashing show but she can put the thing underneath the thing.”

Lydia Hynes, an actress who was part of Goldstein’s direction of “God of Carnage,” said Goldstein is a “go-getter” when it comes to her craft. 

“I’ve never met someone with so much inherent motivation artistically,” Hynes said. “Whether it’s a photoshoot or play that she loves.” 

Hynes said Goldstein has a good way of relating with people, which pushes her forward in her career.

“Drewe [Goldstein] puts herself out there and is just a social and professional animal, really knows how to make connections and create really trusted relationships with people,” Hynes said.

Goldstein said she wants to assist and work on productions that involve the voices of people who are not normally heard on stage. 

“I think in order to tell truthful stories, we have to hear people’s truthful stories,” Goldstein said. “I can only express what I’ve been through. I could never express what somebody else has been through, and that’s really important to me as a director.”

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