Sam Pinkleton is a Tony Award-nominated creative director, choreographer, and educator. Born and raised in small town Virginia, his genre-stretching work is united by a spirit of irreverent, idiosyncratic, joy and the belief that better worlds are possible. Equally comfortable working with your great grandma, a group of tuba players, or a Rockette, Sam vehemently insists that everybody is a dancer and that joy is a contagious, necessary, political force for transformation. The New York Times has described his work as “how the Ramones might have danced if Bob Fosse choreographed them.” He does not own any dance shoes.
On Broadway, his work includes the electropop epic Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 starring Josh Groban and Denee Benton (for which he was nominated for a Tony Award), Machinal (starring Rebecca Hall, in collaboration with Lyndsey Turner and Es Devlin), Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg (starring Mary-Louise
Parker), The Heidi Chronicles (starring Elisabeth Moss), the musical adaptation of Amélie (starring Philippa Soo), and Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other.
His recent work includes the undefinable club experience Untitled DANCESHOWPARTYTHING (created with Ani Taj) for Virgin Voyages, the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang’s political fantasy Soft Power (2020 Pulitzer Prize Finalist), Courtney Love and Todd Almond’s Kansas City Choir Boy, Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Deutsche Oper Berlin, the CBS Upfronts at Carnegie Hall starring James Corden, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti for the Dutch National Opera, and the New York premieres of David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette and Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. Other highlights include collaborations with Nickelodeon, Cirque du Soleil, BAM, The Civilians, The NYC Department of Education, Swing Left, Opéra National de Montpellier, Oper Köln, Pig Iron Theater Company, The Dance Cartel, and writers Kim Rosenstock, Bess Wohl, Sarah Ruhl, Michael Mitnick, Jonathan Tolins, Joe Tracz, Sigrid Gilmer, Dan Fishback, Shaina Taub, Max Vernon, Clare Barron, Randy Blair, Gregory S. Moss, and the late Elizabeth Swados and Michael Friedman.
As a director, his production of Elizabeth Swados’ Runaways premiered to acclaim at New York City Center, transferring to the Delacorte Theater / Shakespeare in the Park as a youth-led civic spectacular, featuring NYC teens, elders, and student activists from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
In addition to a Tony Nomination, he has been nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award and Ovation Award and was named one of ‘25 to Watch’ by Dance Magazine.
He has been a lecturer at Princeton University and Artist in Residence at Pace University as well as a guest lecturer at MIT, Stanford, The New School, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Harvard, and Sarah Lawrence. He holds a degree in Art + Public Policy and Drama from NYU.