Recently, I've been directing extensively with young performers … several middle schools, summer camps, and soon moving into becoming the drama director for Essex High School. As an educator, the directing goals center around skill sharing, team building, identity, and empowerment. As a director with adults, my ethos is similar, though deeply rooted in script analysis, movement generated content, play, and trust between all creative partners. As a director, I come with a vision, ask a lot of questions, remain open to discovery, and then carve out the meat with the editing knife.
At its core, A Number is about:
The risk inside relationship. What does it mean to be vulnerable? How do we mask who we are and what we want? What does it mean to be one's own? What does it mean to be recognized? To be a part, to be apart?
What is the most challenging aspect of directing A Number?
In the case of The Bake Off, it's time. We have a very short rehearsal schedule. Maintaining space for discovery while also driving decision making is the most awesome challenge! Efficient use of hours and talent while generating content with intention and clarity: what a fantastic opportunity for preparedness and urgency in the work. A lot of sparks fly, and we need to catch them quickly.
Are you approaching your section of A Number as mutually exclusive from the other two pieces?
In what world does mutually exclusive exist?
The script for A Number does not have many stage directions, or even much punctuation; do you consider this a gift or a challenge when directing your “slice” of The Bake Off?
A gift for vision and imagination. Churchill's words are coded, deliberate and rich with interpretations. Every problem is an opportunity.
What makes directing this play fun?
The actors who have given me their trust (and they have mine). Paul Ugalde and Andy Butterfield are some gorgeous and brutal clay to shape. We are having a good time in rehearsal, with a section of A Number that carries with it a landscape of aggression, abandonment, and discord. How does it feel to play with dialogue and action that never resolves? Full of potential, and the feeling of tilting on the edge.
What's your favorite line in the play?
"because if there was nobody there that would be terrifying and if you were there that might be worse but it's something I wonder"