As a director, my focus is always on the audience. Whatever theory we discuss in the room must be understood in the final product. I lead vibrant productions that impart powerful messages about our shared world – without, you know, losing the "entertaining" part of "entertainment."
COMPANY: NORTHWESTERN UNIVERsITY DEPARTMENT OF PERFORMANCE STUDIES – Evanston, IL
AUTHOR: MICHAEL FRAYN
PRODUCER: Paul Edwards
Stage Manager: Lauren Kadavy
Cast: Chris Pow, Stefan Schallack, Beth Koehler
My senior thesis project at Northwestern University. In a play about the line between memory and truth, I worked with the actors to discover different possible realities for the characters – and allowed the characters to blur those realities throughout the play. Staged simply with three chairs in a small blackbox, the talented cast spoke directly to the audience, bringing a sense of joviality to a rather dire discussion of nuclear war.
I was lucky enough to be selected to direct for Otherworld's 2017 PARAGON Festival of short plays. Grouped is a smart three-hander about group minds, requiring some in-sync character work between two of the performers. In a short and effective process, we found the humor in Kelly's script and entertained the crowd with a spirited and futuristic story.
COMPANY: OTHERWORLD THEATRE COMPANY – Chicago, IL
Festival: PARAGON Festival of Short Plays
AUTHOR: James Patrick Kelly
PRODUCER: Elliot Sowards
Cast: Chelsee Carter, Kali Skatchke, Priyank Thakkar
WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS (2017)
A quick-paced play about a pair of drifters lost on the side of the road. I brought on two of my favorite actors from Northwestern for a play about the hidden consequences of acting on your impulses, and the dangerous allure of restarting your life. A very entertaining project for The Agency's inaugural Basement Series, which I have since worked with again as a writer.
COMPANY: The Agency Theatre Collective – Chicago, IL
Festival: The Basement Series
AUTHOR: Paul Pasulka
PRODUCER: Jack Schultz
Cast: Nat Kier, Kali Skatchke
URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL (2016)
Returning to my alma mater youth theatre as an alum, I was given the opportunity to re-imagine Urinetown for their summer program. Highlighting the Orwellian leanings of the musical, the brutalist aesthetic helped the show serve as a cautionary tale about polarity of opinion – the notion that it is just as dangerous to believe yourself to be entirely in the right as it is to believe your enemy to be entirely in the wrong.
COMPANY: STUDIO EAST – KIRKLAND, WA
Author: Mark Hollman, Greg Kotis
MUSIC DIRECTOR: Kaysy Ostrom
Chroreographer: Marion Reader
Stage Manager: Christine Rattigan
Cast: Jessica Sparks-Stuht, Dasha Eremina, Tyler Didericksen, Mekhala Bijawat, Matthew Tripplet, Brooke Beattie, Darius Steele, Jamison O'Neal, Kay Kovaks-Szabo, Sara Leste, Ambria Campbell, Sam Kehoe, Mae Corley, Annie Adams, Chelsey Sanford, Amelia Batzel
COMPANY: PURPLE CRAYON PLAYERS – Evanston, IL
Author: The Village THEATRE Kidstage Company, Brian Yorkey, Tom Kitt
Producer: Elaine Koh
MUSIC DIRECTOR: Landon Hegedus
Stage Manager: Hannah Knott
Cast: Jackson Simpson, Austin Manross, Ziare Paul-Emile, Sophia Sinsheimer, Nat Kier, Nathan Selinger, Lindsey Weiss, Michelle Kim, Connor Scott, Ethan Carlson, Anna Backer, Carrie Caffrey, Allison Kaminsky, Margot Zuckerman, Kelsey Robins, Kimberly McBride
LAST EXIT (2016)
Written in 2004 by a group of student artists in Issaquah, WA, Last Exit is a musical about teen suicide that takes place mostly in flashback, before the tragedy occurred. This staged reading of the musical was the first production since 2009 of this lost gem, a humorous and poignant story of missed connections and avoiding vulnerabilities. I led a stellar cast in bringing these teen characters to life, and exploring the depth behind their cautious conversations.
COMPANY: Struble Theatre Projects – Evanston, IL
Author: Arthur Bicknell
Producer: Jim Davis
Stage Manager: Bailey Sutton
Cast: Ross Cohen, Ethan Carlson, Jake Rothstein, Carrey Caffrey, Angelina Strobach, Jordan Scherer, Tatiana Dalton, Jamie Joyen-Waldorf, Katherine Koller, Matt Chorvat
MOOSE MURDERS (2014)
A very, very staged reading of the worst play ever written. Presented unabridged and uncensored, this raucous disaster of a murder mystery is a legendary Broadway flop that had to be seen to be believed. I worked with the actors to nail down the precision comedic timing in a tragedy that refuses to stop being funny.