The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Maria DiDia

Maria DiDia

General Manager, Producer

Interviewed on: Friday, March 17, 2017
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Casey Childs
Interview #91
"I'd always thought...I sorta wound up Off-Broadway not intentionally. As a Manager I thought it'd be Broadway, that I'd do more Broadway.  But because of the other things I spoke about, Broadway Cares and National Dance Institute, there was a distraction that was important to my soul."
Maria DiDia Highlights
Video Length: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds
Maria DiDia Interview Part One
Video Length: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
Maria DiDia Interview Part Two
Video Length: 49 Minutes 21 Seconds

Maria Di Dia, General Manager and Producer, is quoted as saying that her educational degrees are the IRT, the IND,  and the BMT. As a child dancer, she trained at The National Academy of Ballet, directed by Thalia Marra and Arthur Mahoney. Some of her professional jobs as a dancer were with the Radio City Corps de Ballet, Cabaret at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and Look to the Lillies on Broadway as well as acting at The Delacorte Theater in ROMEO AND JULIET (1968), and PEER  GYNT (1969) directed by Joseph Papp.  Joining the Edison Theater as an usher in 1970, she worked her way up to Assistant to Norman Kean learning the art of producing. While working with Kean she worked on productions of DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE (1972), ME AND BESSIE (1975), and OH! CALCUTTA (1976). Di Dia managed and/or acted as Executive Producer on a multitude of shows Off-Broadway, often simultaneously: BEEHIVE (1991) at The Village Gate with Art D’Lugoff; BLUE MAN GROUP (1991) at  Astor Place ; THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME (1991) at The Minetta Lane; and DISTANT  FIRES (1991/2) at Circle in the Square. She was one of the producers of Bebe Neuwirth’s show, HERE LIES JENNY (2004), at the Zipper Theatre.

She formed her own management company DI DIA/FIORE Productions (becoming Maria Productions, Inc. in 1980) with Jim Fiore. When Fiore died of AIDS, Di Dia became a Founding Board Member of Broadway Cares which later joined with Equity Fights AIDS becoming what is now Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA). She is a former member of the board of The Broadway League and the former first Vice President of the Off-Broadway Theater League. She continues her work as General Manager working on Off-Broadway and touring shows, most recently OTHELLO: THE REMIX (2016) at Westside Theatre.

Mentioned in Interview

Tom Aldredge, Ken Billington, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Art D’Lugoff, George Faison, Norman Kean, Paul Libin, Dorothy Olim, Joseph Papp, Albert Poland, David Rothenberg, Barry and Fran Weissler, The Actors Playhouse, Astor Place Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, The Cherry Lane, Circle in the Square, Eden Theatre, The Edison Theatre, The Joyce Theater, Lamb’s Theater Company, The Minetta Lane Theatre, NYSF/The Public, Primary Stages, The Promenade, The Studio Theater, The Village Gate, Westside Arts, The Zipper Theater, ALL IN THE TIMING, BLUE MAN GROUP, DISTANT FIRES, THE DONKEY SHOW, DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE, THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE, JOY, MAMA, I WANT TO SING, ME AND BESSIE, MERE MORTALS, NOBODY DON’T LIKE YOGI, OH! CALCUTTA, PEER GYNT, YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY, ZANNA, DON’T!