Directing philosophy

Director at work

Classic. Smart. Provocative. Truthful.

I direct kick-ass Shakespeare. I make smart, thoughtful, entertaining, socially aware theatre. I love Shakespeare and Stoppard and really great words. In addition to my classical experience, I have regularly worked on contemporary plays that explore issues of social justice and politics. I am dramaturgically prepared; my tablework is thorough; my productions are powerful. I have directed plays from every century between the 16th and the 21st, both intense drama and raucous comedy; I like it best when they are combined in the same script.

I want to tell each story as clearly as possible, with clarity, wonder, humor and textual precision. I work to create a play-ful rehearsal environment, where the actors and I can explore the action of the play and the lives of the characters with safety but also with tenacity. I ask the actors a lot of questions in the rehearsal room. I like to spend a fair amount of time at the table. At the beginning of the process, I should know more about the play than the actors do. As we work, each actor will eventually overtake me in his understanding of his individual character. Asking the question, encouraging the exploration of several possible choices, is at the epicenter of my directorial style. I seek out and value true collaboration, real exchange, with my actors.

I want every element of production to help tell the story; I want to exhaust the space. Does the set serve the story? What extra information does it give me about the universe of the play? What do the costumes tell me about who these people are and the world they inhabit?

I have worked at theatres off- and off-off-Broadway and throughout the American regional theatre circuit. I have directed a national tour for Britain’s Royal National Theatre (2003).

I am looking to work at increasingly higher profile venues, to continue directing great material by authors both canonical and new, to build ongoing relationships with theatres that focus on both classics and social justice. I want to be the artistic director of a really great theatre company.

To learn more about my work to date, go to my online résumé, or click here to download a PDF version.

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Young directors simply must from time to time be hired by a theatrical institution, if only to correct its inevitable tendency to fossilize.
– Tyrone Guthrie

You lie, in faith, for you are called plain Kate,
And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom,
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