One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was not meant as one: “I hated your Richard III because it was so humane. I wanted him to be a monster, but he was just like me.” I wanted to hold the mirror up to nature and point out that the scariest monster is the one that lurks inside our own hearts.
One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was not meant as one: “You must not be a good director because actors love working with you.” The person who said this hadn’t seen my work. Think about what that person must believe about actors as artists, and about directors. I create rooms that are rigorous and joyful. I don’t use trauma as a tool.
One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was meant as one: “I’ve worked with this text for my whole career, but you showed me an entirely new play in it.” Directing is the art of listening: To the text, to the architecture, to other artists, to audience.
My greatest skill as a director is developing deep trust with my collaborators. In brave spaces, they create amazing ideas, and I shape those ideas into a story. I’m never going to be the director who offers a concept for “Pericles on the moon.” I bring questions, trust that we can discover answers, and the technical skill to craft those answers into powerful theater experiences.
I have been directing for over 25 years. My MFA from the American Shakespeare Center has inspired me to make work that is textually grounded and audience-connected, although I work on new plays at least as often as classics. I live in the Shenandoah Valley, in Virginia, but I go where the plays need me.
I am the founder and artistic director of Silk Moth Stage, a found-space theater that produces short seasons of new classics, drawing from the staging practices of pre-electric theaters.
My most important work is Take 5, a framework I developed to create anti-traumatic spaces for theater workers. I am proud to be part of a movement that is challenging outdated ideas of how we work together.
Do you know a play that needs me? Want to learn more about Take 5? Let’s talk.