Actress Michelle Williams has become a mainstay at awards shows owing to a string of exceptional performances that are routinely recognized by her colleagues and critics. For the past few years, she has been accompanied to a number of those shows by Thomas Kail. While so much is known about her, so little is known about him. The couple recently announced they're expecting the birth of their first child. Beyond that, here are five things you should know about the man who stole Williams' heart.
He and Lin-Manuel Miranda are Close Friends
After graduating from the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC, Kail studied musical theater at Wesleyan University, a small, liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. During his freshman year he and fellow student Lin-Manuel Miranda became fast friends. Together they co-founded the freestyle hip-hop group 'Freestyle Love Supreme.' During his time at Wesleyan, Miranda wrote 'In The Heights,' a musical based on his upbringing in the Bronx. When Miranda sought advice on how to improve the project, the first person he sought out was Kail.
After graduating from Wesleyan in 1999, Kail became an assistant stage manager at the New Jersey American Stage Company. During his time there, he worked tirelessly to achieve of his dream of directing shows on Broadway. He got his big break in 2007 when he direct Julia Jordan's 'A Bus Stop Play.' A year later, he was tapped to direct Beau Willimon's 'Zusammenbruch'. That same year, his old college friend Lin-Manuel Miranda successfully mounted his production of 'In The Heights' on Broadway and Kail was his first choice to direct the show.
He Directed Hamilton
While he earned a Tony award nomination for his work on 'In The Heights,' in 2015 Kail shot to the top of everyone's A-List when he directed Miranda's next show, the phenomenal sensation 'Hamilton.' The show, its cast and crew went on to win numerous awards and set box office records on Broadway and around the world. Then in 2016 he directed the world premiere of Sarah Burgess' play 'Dry Powder' at The Public Theater in New York City starring John Krasinski, Hank Azaria and Claire Danes.
He's Big in Hollywood, Too
Kail's talents extend well beyond Broadway. His first foray into television was directing the documentary short 'Critical Hours,' about a LEGO robotics competition in New York City. He followed that up by directing three episodes of the popular CBS sitcom 'Two Broke Girls.' In 2016, he directed a live production of Grease that aired on Fox to both audience and critical acclaim. Then, in 2019, he directed his fiance, Michelle Williams, in the FX limited series 'Fosse/Verdon.'
He's Won Lots of Awards
Much like his fiance, Kail has been nominated for and received several prestigious awards. In 2007, he was nominated for a Tony, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for directing 'In The Heights.' In 2015, he won a Lortel, a Tony, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for directing 'Hamilton.' And that's just Broadway! He has also won two primetime Emmy awards. The first for Grease Live! and the second for Fosse/Verdon.