“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”
My directing philosophy is directly influenced in many ways by this quote. My actors and designers hear me say this often. Theatre may be high stakes and there are times that I am overwhelmed beyond exhaustion - but I love it. I live for the opening night moments: when the audience is in and the curtain opens and the first line is said. When the audience responds to the production’s objectives. The electric energy of the cast and crew as they impatiently await their cues in the wings. The curtain call. The applause. The laughter. The tears. Repeating it all the following night. These moments drive me to create great theatre often.
I come into directing with a strong acting background. I am sympathetic to an actor’s needs in the rehearsal space. As an actor, I crave the opportunity to dig deep into a script and explore the inner workings of character personalities and relationships. I need a certain level of artistic freedom in the rehearsal room to make choices, even if they turn out to be mistakes. As a director, I spend a lot of time throughout the rehearsal process discussing the script with my actors and listening to their insight as they forge connections with these characters. My blocking rehearsals consist of a lot of improvisation. I encourage my actors to explore impulses and allow those impulses to make choices on the stage.
When choosing projects to work on, I try to find works that scare me. I crave the opportunity to put on work that is challenging, daring, and bold. Works that have the potential to change an audience. If after reading a script I feel a sense of dread at the prospect of putting it on stage, then I seize the opportunity and go for it. I have never regretted making choices this way, and these projects are the ones I look back on with the most fondness. I love a challenge. The challenge of creating something impossible, something sacred. To create something that never existed and will never exist again.
Because theatre is fun. And if I’m not having fun, I’m doing something wrong.