Whether on stage or screen, the craft of storytelling usually takes place inside a black box—transporting audiences to worlds, lives, and narratives that reveal to heal. 

Thank you for visiting my website, and for your interest in my story and the stories inside this black box. You’ll find my biography and other materials below.

Because I was blessed to have mentors in Hal Prince, Frank Galati, Terrence McNally and others, I’m including resources at the bottom of this page to help other storytellers, too.

Thanks, friend. Hope to collaborate with you soon.


Stafford Arima (he/him) is an award-winning director for stage and screen.

New York credits include Allegiance (Longacre Theatre), Ragtime: 25 Anniversary Concert (Minskoff Theatre), The Secret Garden: In Concert (David Geffen Hall), Carrie (Lucille Lortel Theater), Altar Boyz (Dodger Stages), The Tin Pan Alley Rag (Laura Pels Theatre), and bare (New World Stages).

Additional credits include Bhangin’ It (La Jolla Playhouse), Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Dial M For Murder (The Old Globe), and Ragtime (Paper Mill Playhouse / Piccadilly Theatre)—the West End premiere earning 8 Olivier Award nominations.

Arima serves as the Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary, helming a myriad of productions including Forgiveness, Mary and Max, The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol, and Billy Elliot. He’s also shepherded new works at the Toronto Fringe Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and New York Stage and Film.

He’s a founding Board member of the Canadian Guild of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and a proud member of SDC and CAEA.

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Photo Credit: Trudie Lee

Awards & Nominations

Winner — Outer Critics Circle Award

Best Off-Broadway Musical

Altar Boyz

Winner — Off-Broadway Alliance Awards

Best Musical Revival


Winner — Laurence Olivier Award

Best Actress in a Musical — Maria Friedman


3x Winner — Betty Mitchell Awards

Outstanding Direction

Outstanding Production of a Play

Outstanding New Play



7x Nominee — Laurence Olivier Awards

Best New Musical

Best Director

2x Best Actor in a Musical

Best Supporting Performance in a Musical

Best Lighting Design

Best Sound Design


3x Nominee — Betty Mitchell Awards

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama

Outstanding Projection or Video Design

Outstanding Costume Design

6x Nominee — Alberta Film & Television Awards

Best Director

Best Scripted Feature

Best Screenwriter 

Best Original Musical Score 

Best Production Reflecting Cultural Diversity

Best Performance by an Alberta Actor

A Christmas Carol

2x Nominee — Drama Desk Awards
Best Musical Revival

Outstanding Musical
Altar Boyz

2x Nominee — Drama League Awards

Best Musical Revival


Distinguished Production of a Musical

Altar Boyz

2x Nominee — Outer Critics Circle Awards

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical

The Tin Pan Alley Rag

Best Musical Revival


Nominee — Lucille Lortel Award

Outstanding Musical

Altar Boyz

Nominee — Joe A. Callaway Award

Best Direction

Altar Boyz

Film & Television

Broadway Company & Sing Out Louise Productions

A Christmas Carol
Theatre Calgary & 4K Film Production

"I Got All I Need (This Christmas)"
Lynne Shankel, Jon Hartmere & Joe's Pub

"Phenomenal Woman"

Lynne Shankel


Artistic Director
Theatre Calgary, Canada

Bhangra Nation
(formerly Bhangin' It)
Birmingham Rep, UK

Piccadilly Theatre, West End, UK


Tokyo International Forum Hall, Japan

The Secret Garden
Toho Company Limited, Japan

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Stratford Festival, Canada

Selected Credits: View More

New York

Ragtime 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert
Minskoff Theatre

Longacre Theatre

Two Class Acts: Ajax & Squash
The Flea Theater

The Secret Garden in Concert
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center

MCC Theater

Altar Boyz

New World Stages

The Tin Pan Alley Rag
Laura Pells Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company

New World Stages

Saturday Night
The York Theatre Company

Ragtime in Concert
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center

Selected Credits: View More