As a director, I use a combination of the Viewpoints & Composition and the tools and philosophies of Epic Theater to represent multiple points of view within one theatrical event, disrupt the false binary of gender roles, and explode the social constructs of identity. But more than anything, I use these techniques to organize human experience within a community: to tell stories.
Romeo and Juliet at Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House derived it’s playworld from the Gothic aspects of the play. Intended to enable the audience to see beyond the idea of fate, the production focused on the choices made not just by the two lovers but also by their community and revealed that it is not the stars that bring about death but rather the violence of the patriarchy.
My production of The Rimers of Eldritch, by Lanford Wilson, used the year in which it was written (1967) to inspire an historicized costume design which, along with the bare-bone aesthetic of the set Wilson imagined, created an American ghost town eerily reminiscent of today’s stuck-in-time Bible Belt mentality. (View the Rimers of Eldritch slideshow).♦
As Long as Fear Can Turn to Wrath was created collaboratively as part of Son of Semele‘s Company Creation Festival. In a production that evoked the make-something-out-of-nothing lives of the Okies themselves, ensemble acting and a reverence for the words of the original novel combined to tell a story of shared hardship, the value of family, and the importance of class solidarity. Both political and heart-wrenching, this piece reveals the human consequences of joblessness and reinforces the necessity of collective action. (View the Wrath slideshow.)
A song & dance Twelfth Night, Or What You Will at the University of California at Riverside combined the worlds of rave, Las Vegas, and Lady Gaga to illuminate the Illyrian culture of excess central to this love story. I also created a 35-minute version for a tour to underserved communities as part of the Gluck Fellows Arts Education Outreach Program. (View the Twelfth Night slideshow.)
In August of 2011 and December of 2010 I directed semi-staged readings of my play American Medea at Los Angeles’ Warner Loughlin Studios and the Ensemble Studio Theater, respectively. American Medea creates a post-modern collage of the real-life stories of Andrea Yates, Darlie Routier, Deborah Green, and Susan Smith and the structure and characters of Euripides’ play to elucidate the cultural construction that is modern motherhood. (See New Play Development for more information.)
Ruins, a new half musical, half domestic drama, premiered at the California Institute of the Arts in 2010. Unfolding in both the past and the present, this piece by Brittany Knupper chronicles a family’s alcohol-fueled dysfunction. Lyrics by Brittany Knupper. Music by Tyler Gilbert. (See New Play Development for more information or view the Ruins slideshow.)
I directed a workshop of House of Gold, an expressionist play about JonBenet Ramsey and a culture that preys on Little Girls, by Gregory S. Moss, at the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference in 2008 (see New Play Development).
Common Decency, a new farce by Ann Marie Healy that uses the iconography of Small Town America to uncover the over-complicated social and sexual situations that result from over-simplified values, premiered at the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium New Play Festival in 2007.
American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Actor Training Cambridge, MA 2006-2007
Sixsixsix, by Gregory Moss (new play workshop)
The Front Page, by Ben Hecht andCharles MacArthur, featured a female Walter Burns (referred to as W), and an amped up sexual relationship between Hildy and his fiancé, while still evoking the world of the roaring 20s.
The Wild Big Girls, by Ann Marie Healy (new play workshop)
Get Your Troy On, by Enrique Urueta (new play workshop)
Smith College, Northampton, MA 2005-2010
American Medea, by Holly Derr (new play workshop)
A Brief Narrative of the Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits, by Colin Denby Swanson (new play workshop)
Golden Girls, by Louise Page, follows a team of relay runners en route to competition in Athens. Exploited by a shampoo company seeking to sell its Golden Girl shampoo, and by a coach and doctor eager to win, the runners must eventually confront their worst fears and themselves. (View the Golden Girls slideshow.)
Big Dance Theater, New York, NY
The Most Recent History and Most Lamentable Tragedy of the 8ees (‘80’s) Passover, Sortof: directed new piece (text by Henry David Clarke) in Play Play Faster Faster festival, 2005.
Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT 2002-2005
Speak, an original adaptation of the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, uses expressionism to tell a story of a high school girl looking for her voice.
The lyricism and onstage piano player in Williams Saroyan’s 1939 The Time of Your Life make it perfect for a musical adaptation. In this Pulitzer Prize winning play, the characters that frequent a ‘Frisco bar make their own melted-pot American family out of companionship, music, and beer. Music and lyrics by David Frye and Terence Purtell.
Scene 9 (world premiere), by Henry David Clarke
Columbia University, New York, NY 1999-2002
Anatomy of Isabelle: A Reconstructed Production, co-produced with SKT, was a documentary production chronicling work on a production of New Anatomies, by Timberlake Wertenbaker, that was halted on September 11. The original play details Isabella Eberhardt’s conversion to Islam and her journey through Northern Africa disguised as a man. We were in rehearsals on September 11, and, when three actors quit because they did not want to play Muslims, we rebuilt the production to include that drama as well as our research into Eberhardt’s life and the Sufi mysticism she practiced.
The Vagina Monologues Spring 01 and 02, Eve Ensler (co-produced with SKT)
When We Dead Awaken, Henrik Ibsen
Monsieur X: Here Called Pierre Rabier, an adaptation of the Marguerite Duras memoir, War
Hundreds of Collisions, an original piece based on the theories of John Cage
Doors, an original autobiographical piece based on the theories of Thadeusz Kantor
Hollywoodland, Tim Braun (world premiere)
In the Penal Colony, an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s short story
SKT, Inc.,New York, NY 1996-2002
Director and Producer
The Looking Glass Theatre: Cymbeline, William Shakespeare
Surf Reality: The Trojan Women, adaptation from versions by Charles L. Mee, Jr.,
Brendan Kennelly, and John Barton
The Connelly Theater: Why We Have a Body, Claire Chaffee
The John Houseman Theater: Like It Is, Johnathan F. McClain (New York premiere)
Two Summer reading series of plays by women exploring what feminist theater is, how
we find it, and how we make it, Summer 1998 and 1999
29th Street Rep: Floating Redundant, Kimberly Howard (New York premiere)
The Connelly Theater: The Philanderer, George Bernard Shaw
45th Street Theater: Goldfish, Joshua Shelov (world premiere)
see complete CV for more projects