Get to know the 'Wicked' creative team

Find out more about the creative team behind Broadway and West End hit Wicked, including director Joe Mantello and Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics.

Julia Rank
Julia Rank

Wicked has long shown the world what being very, very popular looks like. The show premiered on Broadway in 2003 and in the West End in 2006; it has toured the US and UK on multiple occasions, and many international productions have been mounted, including stagings in Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, and South Korea. The show will celebrate its 21st anniversary on Broadway this autumn and the West End production recently welcomed its 12 millionth visitor.

Following in the footsteps of original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, countless actresses have put their individual stamps on the iconic lead roles of Elphaba and Glinda, two young witches who begin as rivals but form an unlikely bond.

While actors rotate, something that remains constant is the strength of the extraordinary creative team. From the set designer to the director, everyone involved in the show has a distinguished resume and has gone on to achieve great things. Learn more about the creative talents behind the wonderful Land of Oz. Their vision is unlimited!

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Stephen Schwartz, music and lyrics

Born in New York City, Schwartz wrote the first version of his musical Pippin as a student. His biblical musical Godspell premiered Off Broadway in 1971 and Pippin made its professional debut a year later. These musicals were followed by the one-act The Magic Show (1974) and The Baker’s Wife (1976), which was a cult classic if not a commercial success. And this was all before he turned 30.

In 1978, Schwartz adapted Studs Terkel’s oral history Working and contributed four songs. Schwartz’s projects in the 1980s and 1990s included lyrics for Charles Strouse’s music for Rags (1986) and Children of Eden, which premiered in the West End in 1991. He collaborated with Alan Menken on the animated films Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and The Prince of Egypt (1998).

Schwartz has won three Oscars, three Grammys, four Drama Desk Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater. He has received Tony Award nominations for Wicked, Pippin, and Godspell (music and lyrics), as well as Rags (lyrics) and Working (music/lyrics and book). In 2015, he received the Isabelle Stevenson Award, an honorary Tony, for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.

Joe Mantello, director

Joe Mantello began his career as an actor Off Broadway and had his breakthrough role as Louis Ironson in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, for which he won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor. He has combined acting and directing since the early 1990s and has received Tony Awards for his direction of Take Me Out and Assassins and has received five more nominations. He won a Drama Desk Award for his direction of Wicked.

Mantello has made returns to acting in The Normal Heart and The Glass Menagerie. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2018. Mante*llo most recently directed Stephen Sondheim’s final musical *Here We Are.

Gregory Maguire, original novel

Gregory Maguire published his first children’s book in 1978. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, his first novel for adults, was published in 1995. Four more novels set in the Oz universe followed. Much of his work is inspired by fairy tales and classic children’s stories.

Wayne Cilento, choreographer

A celebrated Broadway song and dance man, Wayne Cilento created the role of Mike in a A Chorus Line, performing "I Can Do That." He also appeared in The Act with Liza Minnelli and in the Bob Fosse revue Dancin’ (for which he was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical).

Transitioning into direction and choreography with Jerry’s Girls in 1981, as well as undertaking extensive television and concert work, Cilento won Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Who’s Tommy in 1993 and has received five more nominations, including for his work on Wicked.

Eugene Lee, set designer

The creator of the iconic dragon clock that frames the show, legendary Broadway designer Eugene Lee won Tony Awards for Candide (1974 revival), Sweeney Todd (original 1979 Broadway production), and Wicked. Other work includes the original productions of Merrily We Roll Along, Ragtime and Bright Star. He was a production designer for Saturday Night Live from its inception in 1975 and received 18 Emmy Awards in total for his television work. Lee died in 2023 at the age of 83.

Susan Hilferty, costume designer

Pink looks good with green. Susan Hilferty started making all her own clothes by the age of 12 and has designed over 300 productions worldwide. For Wicked, she created her own twist on fashions of 1911 (the year in which The Wizard of Oz was first published), with Elphaba’s costumes inspired by earth and Glinda’s by air — as well as a diverse palette of different shades of green for the ensemble. The show features over 450 costumes and 240 pairs of shoes. Hilferty won a Tony Award for Wicked and has been nominated a further six times for Into the Woods, Lestat, Spring Awakening, Present Laughter, Funny Girl, and Parade.

Kenneth Posner, lighting designer

Over 800 lights are used to create Wicked’s many cinematic effects. Kenneth Posner won a Tony Award in 2011 for his lighting of Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia (Part 2 – Shipwreck) and he has received 10 further nominations, including Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The Merchant of Venice.

Tony Meola, sound designer

The sound designer of over 40 Broadway shows, Tony Meola’s other credits include The Lion King, The Sound of Music, Kiss Me Kate, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Elaine J. McCarthy, projections designer

Elaine J. McCarthy began her career as an administrator at MIT before working as an assistant to ‘Queen of Projections’ Wendall K. Harrington. She is renowned for her interdisciplinary approach. McCarthy has worked extensively in projections and video design across theatre and opera.

Tom Watson, hair and wigs designer

The creator of over 90 wigs seen in Wicked, Tom Watson is head of the wig and make-up department at the Metropolitan Opera and has designed hair and wigs for over 100 Broadway shows. Recent credits in his illustrious include Spamalot, Harmony, Parade, and Plaza Suite.

Joe Dulude II, make-up designer

The creator of Elphaba’s distinctive shade of ‘verdigris’, Joe Dulude II has designed make-up looks for over 20 Broadway shows. Other credits include KPOP, MJ, Beetlejuice, and SpongeBob SquarePants. His television work includes Annie Live! and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

Stephen Oremus, music supervisor/musical arrangements

Stephen Oremus is a double Best Orchestrations Tony Award winner for The Book Mormon and Kinky Boots. Other credits include Avenue Q, All Shook Up, and Frozen (also on screen, and Frozen 2).

William David Brohn, orchestrations

William David Brohn won a Tony Award for Best Orchestrations for Ragtime. Regularly working with Cameron Mackintosh and Trevor Nunn, his other credits included Mary Poppins, Oklahoma!, Carousel, and Miss Saigon. Brohn died in 2017 at the age of 84.

Alex Lacamoire, music arrangements

Alex Lacamoire is a four-time Grammy, three-time Tony, and Emmy winner for his work on Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, In The Heights, and FX’s mini-series Fosse/Verdon. Lacamoire has hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

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Photo credit: the cast of Wicked in the West End. (Photo courtesy of production)

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