My goal as director is to inspire imaginative flights of possibility.
Through my work an audience can enter into the passion and precision
of a script. I am drawn to complicated, poetic texts that outline
an elegant progression, in which the language is specific and defines
characters whose actions express their humanity. I find these qualities
in contemporary plays and enjoy reclaiming classical texts. Once
a script is selected, careful attention, intelligence and a discerning
eye help shape a viable reality. By being selective about which
details to animate I express my unique vision and create the atmosphere
through set, lighting, sound, costume.
A physical “stage picture” is the infrastructure supporting
a poetic narrative sense that links to modern/magic realism. This
is demonstrated in my 1998 production of Chekhov’s The Seagull.
The scripted setting is lake-side. In my production on the Yale
Repertory stage I placed all the action on a mirrored lake-like
surface with a periphery of branchless trees disappearing into the
vaulted theater. In addition to beautiful lighting effects this
choice was meant to emphasize the thrill of floating and flying
and the uncertainty of transience and flux. The intense emotion
at the end of the act III dining room scene was accentuated by this
setting. Using the tablecloth, Trigorin pulled Nina across a 24-foot
table as it sank into the floor, as if into the lake.
In becoming a professional director I trained as an actor. I am
intimate with and appreciative of the actor’s process. When
first exploring a text I allow the ensemble to interpret the script
organically. I pay attention and support their choices and ideas.
My sincere interest in learning from my cast helps create a trusting
environment in which my collaborators feel empowered. This approach
inspires a powerful authenticity, which honors the playwright and
invigorates the ensemble.
With character development in the hands of the actor, I concentrate
exacting influence over staging of action and objects. I exploit
the physical relationships of actor to actor, actor to environment,
actor to audience. My visual sensibility seeks to create a dynamic,
which underscores themes and emotions. I believe in the power of
communicating both tension and harmony through juxtaposition.
By expressing my aesthetic, applying my process, and leading a
team of talented conspirators, I seek to provide audiences with
an engaging transformative experience. Theater has the power to
connect to our deepest element, to celebrate humanity and find hope
in shared experience. I want to continue to make theater that provides
a vehicle, which explores our darkest urges, and most graceful acts
of humility; to present a challenge and meet that challenge with
dignity and strength. My mission is to create three-dimensional
poetry that is vivid, visceral, and necessary. With the right combination
of intelligence, risk-taking, emotion and trust I seek to provide
a forum for transcendence. Audience and ensemble alike can soar,
reaching a heightened awareness of their inherent humanity.