Stafford Arima






  • Broadway Director, 1st Asian Canadian to direct a musical on Broadway
  • Artistic Director of‍‍‍ Theatre Calgary
  • Artistic Advisor to the Broadway Dreams Foundation
  • Adjunct Professor at U.C. Davis‍‍‍

Calgary, Alberta

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Just Do You

Who puts roadblocks in the way of your dreams? Who decides that it's not possible to reach that lofty goal?  And, finally, how can you actually make it all happen? Going after what you want can be intimidating and anxiety-provoking. Sometimes nerves and self-doubt get the best of you, which might lead you to sabotage your dreams. For example, how many times have you gone through the process of writing down your wants, dreaming of them and talking about them to your friends and family but then not following through? The necessary tools to shift the paradigm and lead you toward the path of success are found in one place - YOU. From my own experience as a successful theater director who started out without any industry connections, I can offer insights and interactions that will help you come out of yourself to change the direction of your life with the empowerment to be able to "just do you."‍‍‍

Stafford Arima was nominated for an Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of the musical, Ragtime. His production received 8 nominations including Best Musical. He directed the Broadway production of Allegiance starring George Takei and Lea Salonga.

Selected work includes: Altar Boyz (received the Best Musical Outer Critics Circle Award, was nominated for a Drama Desk as Outstanding Musical, and ran over 2,000 performances Off-Broadway), Carrie (Off-Broadway revival; nominated for 5 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical and an Outer Critics nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Musical; MCC Theater); The Secret Garden (David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center); Two Class Acts by A.R. Gurney (The Flea Theater); Saturday Night (The York Theatre Company, NYC); The Tin Pan Alley Rag (nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, Roundabout Theatre Company); Candide (San Francisco Symphony); Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); A Tribute to Sondheim (Boston Pops); Marry Me a Little (Cincinnati Playhouse); Guys and Dolls (Paper Mill Playhouse); and Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals).

Arima was the associate director for the Broadway productions of Seussical and A Class Act. He graduated from York University (Canada), where he was the recipient of the Dean's Prize for Excellence in Creative Work. He currently serves as Artistic Director for Theatre Calgary and Artistic Advisor for the Broadway Dreams Foundation, is an Adjunct Professor at UC Davis, and a proud member of SDC.‍‍‍

Keynotes, Facilitation, Moderator