Steven Williford is a veteran stage and television director who made his theatrical feature debut in 2011 with THE GREEN, starring Jason Butler Harner, Illeana Douglas, Cheyene Jackson and Julia Ormond. The film, distributed by Cinetic/FilmBuff, garnered critical praise, several Best Direction and Best Film festival awards, and received its television premier on Showtime in 2012. Steven has directed more than forty stage productions Off-Broadway and in major regional theaters throughout the country. He has also directed three network soaps and just received his fourth Daytime Emmy nomination for his work on NBC’s Days of our Lives. Steven’s new web series, The Edge of Allegiance, a political sit-com created by Eric Rudnick, follows the antics of the Mt. Rushmore presidents as contemporary cable news network pundits. It will debut this summer on Funny or Die.
Steven’s stage work has been seen Off-Broadway and at a host of regional theaters stretching from Connecticut’s Long Wharf Theater to the Tacoma Actors’ Guild. His New York productions include the premieres of Walking Down Broadway by Dawn Powell, Halfway Home by Diane Bank, and Pera Palas by Sinan Ünel. On the regional circuit, he has directed more than forty productions including modern classics, plays by established contemporary authors, and work by new playwrights.
Steven’s regional theater work commenced right out of grad school with six seasons as the artistic director of the New Harmony Theatre, a then nascent company being developed by the University of Southern Indiana. The appointment was instrumental in Steven’s growth as both a director and a producer. His first charge was to build the new company’s reputation for high-caliber, professional theater. He tackled that challenge by pulling together a community of seasoned theatre artists from around the nation and in doing so, he was able to set and maintain high standards of excellence in every aspect of production. His work tested and proved the axiomatic challenge, “If you build it, they will come…” – even to the hinterlands of the Midwest.
After his first season with NHT, Steven was engaged to create and implement a similar rigorous plan of growth for the University’s theater-training program. He joined the faculty as head of the division and for the subsequent five years, shepherded the expansion of the curriculum, the faculty and staff – and supervised the renovation of the classrooms, shops and production facilities. Along with his administrative work at USI, Steven discovered a true passion for teaching. He continues to seize every occasion offered to work with acting, directing and production design students.
Having met the goals of his five-year plans for both the theatre company and the university program in Indiana, Steven returned to New York and free-lance directing. The move also allowed him to recommit to his long-standing interests in working on new plays.
Steven’s work in the field of new plays/new playwrights includes five years as the resident director of the Lark Play Development Center in New York. At the Lark, he mentored new and mid-career playwrights, and directed numerous workshop productions and readings. He also worked on new projects for Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, Cherry Lane, Rattlestick, Naked Angels, Wooly Mammoth, Hudson Stage, Stamford Theater Festival, Provincetown Theater Company and enjoyed two seasons with the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.
Over the last dozen years, Steven has integrated his theatre work with directing network television daytime drama. That work included ABC’s All My Children, and the landmark CBS soaps As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
Steven expanded the scope of his work to include filmmaking in 2011 with his first narrative feature, The Green. Based on his original story idea, with a screenplay by Paul Marcarelli, the film was produced by Table Ten Films and distributed by Cinetic/Film Buff. The Green debuted on the festival circuit in July of 2011 and garnered a number of awards including three citations for Best Direction. It premiered on Showtime in February 2012. It is also available on all major streaming platforms and in DVD release through a wide variety of retailers.
Steven is currently a member of the directing team for NBC’s Days of our Lives. He is also working on Prospect Park’s successful internet reboot of All My Children (The Online Network, streaming on Hulu and iTunes) – and he is in production for a new comedy web series created by Eric Rudnick entitled The Edge of Allegiance. EOA follows the antics of the Mt. Rushmore presidents as contemporary cable news network pundits and will have its debut on Funny or Die this summer.
Along with the nods for Best Direction of The Green, Steven is a four-time Daytime Drama Directing Team Emmy nominee. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He holds a BFA in Acting & Directing from East Carolina University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington in Seattle.