MY LATEST PROJECT: THE ELM TREE WITH ALIGHT THEATRE GUILD
I am excited to announce my latest project: The Elm Tree with Alight Theatre Guild. The Elm Tree is a new immersive theatre piece created by Dori Robinson and based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The myth is told through the story of a pair of twins, who’s shared understanding keeps them together until a secret nearly forces them apart: one of them is actually trans. Through an experiential, immersive style, The Elm Tree seeks to familiarize its audience with the experience of those who identify as gender queer, and to open hearts and minds to a world that is safe and open to them.
I am overwhelmed to be co-directing this piece, which will feature some Boston's best trans and gender-qeer artists. The production dates are July 19-21 at the Boston Center for The Arts. More details will be available soon.
MIDTERM SHAKE UP AT BRIDGE REP WAS A BLAST
This past fall, I returned to Bridge Repertory Theater to direct their Midterm Shake Up! I owe so much to Bridge Rep and loved working with them once again.
As our deeply divided country hurtled toward another election, Shakespeare offered non-partisan breathing room and historical perspective on our modern civil strife. Marc Antony's "Friends, Romans, countrymen" headlined an intense lineup from a smattering of plays, all of which sh a light on the questions and forces shaping our time.
UPCOMING PROJECT: INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE ON JUSTICE & EMPATHY
In Fall 2019, I will continue working on my latest pet project, The Interactive Performance on Justice and Empathy.
Working with Roxbury Community College, civil rights lawyers, and other community organizations, I will be developing a play where spectators follow the footsteps of four characters tangentially linked to a police-involved shooting in contemporary Boston. As the city eventually erupts into riots, spectators make more and increasingly complicated choices on behalf of these characters. How will each character define and seek justice? What will be the consequences of their decisions and encounters with other characters? Can the audience navigate these four lives through the chaos and find a way to restore peace? The performance changes nightly based on how spectators vote.
I am incredibly excited to be developing this project through Roxbury Community College. It is a wonderful opportunity to build civic-engaged work in Boston, and my latest exploration into the intersection between performance and witness theory, and theatre’s ability to promote social change.
I previously received a small grant from Emerson College's Affiliated Faculty Development Fund to workshop the play in September 2018 at the Boston Center for the Arts. It was a great experience I thank everyone who supported me!
ONGOING TEACHING AT EMERSON AND ROXBURY
I just completed another fantastic semester at both Emerson College and Roxbury Community College.
On top of my normal classes, I had the honor of teaching an Advance Topics in Directing class on Immersive and Interactive Theatre! The class explored different ways of bringing spectators into direct contact with theatrical productions, ranging from immersive musicals to full-on civic practice work.
Teaching has become a source of great joy for me, and I am happy to be so involved at two great institutions.
NOMAD AMERICANA AT FRESH INK A "BREATH OF FRESH AIR"
My production of Kira Rockwell's Nomad Americana for Fresh Ink Theatre met with positive reviews and great audiences!
The play follows a young woman named Bridgette who has been travelling the country with her idiosyncratic, yogi family members in an old RV, selling soap and avoiding painful memories. When Bridgette meets a young dreamer named Danny and begins a romance, she starts to question her responsibilities to herself and to her family. It is a play about family, love, sacrifice, and the things left unspoken.
THANKS TO ALL WHO SAW THE VALENTINE'S SHAKE UP AT BRIDGE REP!!
This past Valentine's Day weekend, I had the pleasure of directing Bridge Rep Theater's Valentine's Shake Up at the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge. This night of Shakespeare, wine, and chocolate featuring performances from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra and more sold out and extended!!
We had a stellar cast, and I was so grateful for the chance to collaborate with Bridge Rep after working on their award-winning Mrs Packard.
ARTISTIC CONSULTANT ON STORIES OF SUBSTANCE, FEATURED ON WBUR
I am currently consulting on a new production of Stories of Substance in Beverly, MA. I am so happy to see other schools and programs becoming interested in promoting this wonderful project.
Stories of Substance, the long anticipated play about opioid addiction pulled for the stories of young survivors, premiered in Salem on June 5. I spent over a year developing this play with the North Shore YMCA, Salem Athenaeum and New Liberty Charter School. WBUR's Deborah Becker attended the event and interviewed our creative team. You can hear her report on the project here.
HAMLET A SUCCESS AT MIT
Last fall I happily returned to MIT Shakespeare Ensemble to helm their production production of Hamlet. We responded to the current political climate and focused on the question, "Can brutality and authoritarian actions be stopped by liberal values, or does one eventually have to embrace brutality to defeat it?"
I wish all the folks at MIT Shakespeare Ensemble the best as they near graduation!!
PUBLISHED IN THE FALL '16 THEATRE TOPICS
I am proud to announce that my article, "Dissonant Witnessing: the 'in' and 'above' of Thou Proud Dream," has been published in the Fall 2016 edition of Theatre Topics, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
The article documents my work on Thou Proud Dream, the site-specific adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V I created with Jenni Lamb. It discusses my attempts to articulate a practicable means of transforming spectators into witnesses by considering their place both embedded in the story and standing outside of it.
Thank you to all of my mentors, who guided me through this process!!
DISCUSSING AUDIENCE RESPONSIBILITY ON HOWLROUND
My ongoing blog series for HowlRound, entitled The Audience Position, explores how tools of interactive theatre can promote social awareness and audience repsonsibility. I hope it leads to further discussions about how interactive and immersive theater can spark conversations about strengthening our communities.
Read the first post here, introducing the series.
Post #2 talks about point of view and the audience contract.
Post #3 discusses how much agency to give an audience.
Post #4 explores the power of proximity and distance.
Post #5 examines what it means to watch other audience members.
In Post #7 I share my experience trying to figure out how to get an audience to collaborate within a performance.