NEW ARTICLE COMING OUT!!!
I am thrilled that my new scholarly article, "Sitting on the Couch: The Conundrum of Spectatorship in Jackie Sibbblies Drury's Fairview," will be in the forthcoming edition of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism.
This article has been years in the making, and I want to thank all of the people who helped me along the way, including interviewees Sarah Benson, Stevie Walker-Webb, and Maria Manuela Goyanes, my editors Michelle Liu Carriger and Timmia Hearn DeRoy, and my old friends Dan Cullen and Evan Mortiz.
Expect a PDF of the article available soon!!
SOME WORDS ON MY PLACE IN THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
A lot has happened in the world the last few years. A reckoning is taking place that is long overdue, and yet it works in fits and starts.
“The racial contract of the American stage,” Tavia Nyong’o says, requires Black artists to perform “historical memory for predominately white audiences who might prefer to continue forgetting.” To break this contract, white artists like myself must do the work of self-examination and help strip the residue of privilege from predominately white theatres.
This is, of course, easier said than done. It is hard to give up the powers such spaces offer. My recent directing and scholarship have helped me see some of my blindspots and implicit biases, but more work is to be done.
I also recognize that I teach at a community college that is majority Black. Studies say that students are more likely to succeed when taught by someone of their same race. This is something I consider every day as I try to build a better, more equitable, and antiracist pedagogy.
As I do my share of the work that needs to happen to change these iniquities, I promise to own my mistakes, make space for marginalized voices, and find ways to divest my own power.
NEW PROJECT: POLARITY
In 2023, I will be collaborating with writers across the country on Polarity, a new audiodrama looking at polarization in America. The aim is to inspire conversation between artists and audiences about the toughest issues we face today and combat the growing tribalism of contemporary society.
Look for more details in 2023.
ONLINE PROJECTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
I had a blast working with some collaborators across the country.
First, I loved joining forces with The Radiograph in Los Angeles on Upgrade Now! a short radio drama written by Karen Fisher. You can listen to the full track here.
I also enjoyed getting to work with Rorschach Theatre in DC on their annual Klecksography. I directed Mother Nova by Adrian Iglesias. I love Rorschach's new direction with psychogeographies, so go check it out!
THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THE ELM TREE!!
My last directing project in Boston, The Elm Tree with Alight Theatre Guild, had a glorious but all too short run this past summer at the Boston Center for the Arts. Thanks to all who came to see this 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.
You can see photos here.
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.
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.
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.
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.