SOME WORDS ON COVID, BLACK LIVES MATTER, AND #WESEEYOUWAT
A lot has happened in the world since I last updated this website. Currently, my city remains under restrictions for COVID-19, and Black Lives Matter is finally getting the attention it truly deserves.
I stand in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. I dedicate myself to the work of antiracism and promise to combat it in all its forms - from criminal justice initiatives to my own classroom. I say unequivocally: Black Lives Matter. I also support We See You White American Theater, which is demanding a radical reshaping of our theatrical infrastructure.
As a white cisgender heterosexual man working in both the arts and at a community college that is majority black, I have to regularly reckon with my privilege and my implicit biases. I promise to own my mistakes, make space for marginalized voices, and find ways to divest my own power.
Now is the time for change, and I hope, as always, to be a force for good.
THE WORK CONTINUES IN THE MID-ATLANTIC
Starting August 15, I return to the Community College of Baltimore County as the coordinator of the Theatre program on their Catonsville campus. I am honored to continue in this role, and do all I can to build a top-notch program based on antiracist practice and true equity.
Though theatres are closed, the work never stops. I continue to research and write on the topics of directing, participation, and social justice. And I am working on digital content with various collaborators. More info as it becomes available.
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.
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.