As a powerhouse theatre producer with seven Pulitzer Prize-winning plays (including "Kinky Boots") under her belt and president of her own eponymous production company, Daryl Roth knows a thing or two about high-powered career success. As a noted LGBTQ and animal rights activist, she also knows a thing or two about using her acclaim to help empower others. Fairygodboss got to chat with Roth about Broadway, finding your calling, and her #1 piece of career advice!

Fairygodboss of the Week: Daryl Roth

President and Founder, Daryl Roth Productions

New York, NY

FGB: Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

DR: Having always loved theatre, it was not until my 40s that I began my career in the industry. I have never felt more fulfilled, and feel that I have found my calling. My path was rather unconventional, in that I did nor have a background in producing, but my life skills coupled with my passion and tenacity led me to where I am today.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

DR: My best accomplishments would have to be my children. Now adults, I am proud of the people they have become, their own accomplishments, and the wonderful parents they now are. Professionally, KINKY BOOTS, a musical I shepherded from film to stage. The story and message is one that weaves together everything I care deeply about. And happily, audiences have responded enthusiastically both on Broadway and around the world.

FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

DR: Perhaps the biggest challenge I had to overcome was the lack of support or encouragement from other people in the industry when I began. This led me to a greater resolve in proving my abilities, and not to depend on others but rather listen to my inner voice.


Lightning Round:

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

DR: I enjoy time with my family, my grandchildren bring me great joy, and of course my dogs.

FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?

DR: I would love to have dinner with Dame Judi Dench and learn how she made her career choices. She is an amazing woman.

FGB: What is your karaoke song?

DR: "The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding

FGB: What is your favorite movie?

DR: "Coming Home"

FGB: What book would you take with you on a desert island?

DR: The collection of "Lassie" books.

FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?

DR: Shoes. And if I won the lottery, I would give the money away to small theatre companies, Alzheimer's research, and LGBTQ organizations.

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?

DR: Most importantly, don't worry about failure. In fact, remove it from your vocabulary and exchange it for the word "experience." Be tenacious, and find a career you are passionate about.

FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss? 

DR: While not my fairygodboss, I am inspired every day by playwrights and the creative people that I work with.


Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women — so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.