Browsing articles tagged with " classic American plays"

Albee, Mamet, and the Rest of Us

May 29, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

“I am not interested in living in a city where there isn’t a production by Samuel Beckett running.”
― Edward Albee

100 or so years ago, when I was a little baby director freshly arrived in NYC, I decided to direct Waiting for Godot. I cast the play entirely …

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Mere Trifles by Susan Glaspell, et al.

May 29, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

In collaboration with Executive Director Anne Bertram at Theatre Unbound, I curated an evening of short plays to be in conversation with Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, for its’ 100th anniversary; I directed all four pieces. We commissioned Minnesota playwrights Rhiana Yazzie and Maxie Rockymore to write new pieces that picked …

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Desdemona by Paula Vogel

Oct 22, 2015   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Productions, Shakespeare

Iman Messado as Emilia and Demoriya Phillips as Desdemona

Paula Vogel’s Desdemona cannot outrun Shakespeare’s Othello. She cannot escape her death. Nor, at least as much to Vogel’s point, can any woman escape the restrictions and restraints placed upon her by the men who define her existence.

Desdemona: A Play

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The Kilroys: A Prequel

Aug 4, 2014   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

Some Essential Women Playwrights of the 20th & 21st Centuries

In June, the Kilroys released their fantastic and important list of most recommended new plays by women. In July, partly in preparation to teach a course entitled Women in Theatre, partly because many of them have been on …

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Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Jun 29, 2014   //   by Kate Powers   //   Incarcerated performers, Productions

Brother Ben exhorts Willy Loman.

In the first half of 2014, I directed Death of a Salesman at Fishkill Correctional Facility, under the auspices of Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

Mid-curtain call for director and cast.

With my incarcerated assistant director, Johnny Hincapie, I wrote the following for the playbill:

Willy …

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Our Town by Thornton Wilder

Oct 28, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

George (Marcelle Smith) and Emily (Kate Kenney)

 

I directed Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and the men, with their female civilian counterparts, performed the play twice for the population of the facility and once for an invited civilian audience of ~225.

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town opened on …

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Every Town is Our Town

Jun 11, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I just directed Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison.

(If you’ve visited this site before, followed me on Twitter or possibly stumbled across my path on the subway, no doubt you already know this.)

Even though the play was selected by their peers, …

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They went and died about it: Staging an incarcerated cemetery

Jun 6, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

You can’t take an intermission at Sing Sing, and you cannot have a blackout.

Well, this year, a blackout was not available to us because the lights never go out in the room where we presented the play and because the circuits in that space couldn’t handle the wattage of …

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Talking to George Gibbs about Grief

Apr 12, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

I recently found myself lying on the prison floor, talking to George Gibbs about grief.

[If you are new to my blog, you need to know that I am directing Our Town at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.]

Thornton Wilder’s stage direction reads, “George sinks to his knees then falls full

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It’s clearing up. The stars are coming out.

Mar 4, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers

The individuals on the play selection committee all said that they wanted a comedy, or at least a story with some lighter moments in it.  Over the course of several months, my colleagues and I made almost three dozen suggestions that fit the committee’s criteria, which include having a dozen …

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This play is called Our Town: 75 years in Grover’s Corners (part III of III)

Jan 30, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

No curtain. No scenery.

Wilder wrote that he was trying to restore significance to the small details of life by stripping away the scenery, “Theatre longs to represent the symbols of things, not the things themselves.”  Elsewhere, he observed, “Moliere said that for the theatre all he needed was a …

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This play is called Our Town: 75 years in Grover’s Corners (part II of III)

Jan 30, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

First we want a little more information about the town

There seems to be a nearly universal anxiety about the potential for the play to become mawkish in production, coupled with a rehearsal room realization that it is anything but maudlin. “Lots of directors go to it without a sense …

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This play is called Our Town: 75 years in Grover’s Corners (part I of III)

Jan 27, 2013   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

 

Thornton Wilder as the Stage Manager in Our Town, 1938.

Once upon a time in October 1937, Thornton Wilder wrote to his dear friend, Gertrude Stein, “I can no longer conceal from you that I’m writing the most beautiful little play you can imagine… It’s a little play …

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The Voice of the Turtle by John van Druten

Oct 30, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

Reviews

Peter Filichia, TheaterWeek:
“When you go theatregoing, take in at least one off-off-Broadway show, for “The Small Stem” has its many charms, too… no theatre does it better than the Westside Repertory — For a while, it appeared that I’d have to stand. And, based on what I saw …

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Shakespeare can transform a human heart.
– Curt Tofteland, Shakespeare Behind Bars

You lie, in faith, for you are called plain Kate,
And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst;
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Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation…
--The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, scene i