As a director, my creative interests revolve around generating new performance-based work, nurturing on-going, diverse collaborations, and exploring the potential for that work to engage across borders—between people and cultures, between methods and disciplines. I am drawn to the transformative qualities of theatre, film, and other collaborative arts where communities may be changed or formed through participation.
The dialectic collisions within my work—the strategic syntheses of apparently opposing cultures and forms—are central. Faced with contrasting or seemingly mismatched elements, I want audiences to wrestle for meaning. I strive to gently entice viewers into that shared effort by raising audacious questions, the dexterous use of the tools of live theatre and performance, and the precision of my unifying vision. Once I engage the audience, it is the task of each individual viewer to complete the creative act. The dialogic relationship I create with my audience members is not unlike the poet/reader relationship, as described by Anne Michaels, “not two to make one, but two to make the third, just as a conversation can become the third side of the page.” I cultivate projects that place divergent methods, media, aesthetics, and cultures in collaborative environments to explore the harmonies between seemingly dissonant parts.
I’m curious about the ongoing role and possibilities for embodied performance work given our increasingly mediated, disembodied culture. As ritual theorist Tom Driver notes, “no good ritual is disembodied.” With this in mind, my work with performers begins with a focus on physicality. Furthermore, I am committed to exploring our contemporary rituals, those conditioned processes that allow us to crack open memory and story for collective response.
For Square Top Theatre, I directed Laura, or Scenes from a Common World, our first film project, which premiered at the 2016 Art Video International Film Festival in Cannes and was named Best Experimental Short at Cinema on the Bayou in Lafayette, LA, in 2017. In 2013, I directed the premiere of Damon Falke‘s Now at the Uncertain Hour, a production that explores the borderlands between theatre, broadcast radio, live music, and mediated performance. The show features characters speaking from historical and contemporary perspectives and live music for claw-hammer banjo and modular synthesizer. In 2010, I worked with Falke to produce and tour the premier of his play The Sun is in the West. The production centered on questions of fading cultural particularities, localism, the unreliability of memory, and the way meaning and a sense of connection are constructed by the telling and re-telling of stories. For Gonzaga University, I directed the premiere of Coming Home: A Soldiers’ Project (2018), a site responsive production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (2017), and devised an original physical production based on Rilke’s Book of Hours (2016), among others. I returned to the U.S. in 2012 after teaching and directing in China with the U.S. Peace Corps at Guizhou University. While in China, I directed cross-cultural productions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. The latter production was invited to perform as part of the Chinese Universities Shakespeare Festival in Hong Kong.