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Nilan joined The Drama League of New York in 2016, becoming its first Associate Artistic Director in the organization’s 110-year existence in 2019. Since his onboarding he has aided in radically changing and growing their educational programing. From the revisioning of New Visions/New Voices, the only after-school program in the United States to exclusively focus on the techniques of stage direction as a lens into exploration -- empowering students with creative skill-building, personal agency, and leadership techniques to discover, trust, speak, and amplify their personal voice and visions of the world around them. His students have gone off to Dartmouth College, New York University, Howard University, Temple University, and CUNY York College, to name a few.
He has brought award-winning ensembles UNIVERSES (Party People) and Urban Bush Women (Hair & Other Stories) to present master workshops. In 2018, he began the organization’s relationship with Claire Warden and Intimacy Directors & Coordinators to further the organizations training and mentorship of directors to create safe, sustainable, equitable, and inclusive spaces for the work.
He produces The Digital Series, a video and podcast series documenting the art, leadership, and craft of directors and their influence on the American Theatre. Some of his favorite episodes are Queering the Theatre: A Special Pride Week Event, where he gathered the nations artistic leaders of LGBTQIA+ theatres for a conversation on the state of queer theatre in the U.S., In Conversation with Mei Ann Teo, the artistic director of Musial Theatre Factory, and Women of Color in Artistic Leadership: Associate Artistic Directors. Where three bright stars of the field gathered to speak on what it takes to be the precedent at predominantly White institutions in regards to one’s race and gender.