Stafford Arima

Region: Calgary AB


STAFFORD ARIMA is the Artistic Director at Theatre Calgary. Born and raised in Toronto, Arima thrived in the New York theatre scene for over 20 years. In 2015, he became the first Asian Canadian to direct a musical on Broadway when Allegiance opened at the Longacre Theatre, starring George Takei and Lea Salonga. Arima was also nominated for a 2004 Olivier Award for his direction of the West End premiere of the musical, Ragtime. Additional directing credits include productions of Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway) Carrie (MCC Theater, Off-Broadway), Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris (Stratford Festival),The Tin Pan Alley Rag (Roundabout Theatre Company), The Secret Garden – In Concert (Lincoln Center), Abyssinia (Goodspeed Musicals), A Tribute to Sondheim (Boston Pops), Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Mary and Max – A New Musical, The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol (2019), and Billy Elliot (Theatre Calgary). Arima has shepherded new musical development at the Toronto Fringe Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, New York Stage and Film, and the SPF Festival. He is a graduate of York University, where he was the recipient of the Dean’s Prize for Excellence in Creative Work. He also serves as Artistic Advisor for Broadway Dreams, and is an Adjunct Professor at UC Davis.

Artist Statement

I am passionate about creating theatre art, and utilizing the power of collaboration with theatre practitioners to move, touch, and inspire audiences.
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