As a director, I create new performance-based work, nurture on-going, diverse collaborations, and explore the potential for that work to engage across boundaries—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.
Recent directorial projects for Square Top Theatre include: Koppmoll (2020), a short documentary filmed in the far north of Norway about home, family, loss, and a nearly forgotten war; The Scent of a Thousand Rains (2019) by Damon Falke, a performance piece in verse for an actor and a violinist; and Laura, or Scenes from a Common World (2016), an experimental film shot on location in and around Tromsø, Norway, which premiered at the Art Video International Film Festival in Cannes and was named Best Experimental Short at Cinema on the Bayou in Lafayette, LA.
Recent projects for Gonzaga University include: Romeo ∞ Juliet (2019), the premiere of Coming Home: A Soldiers’ Project (2018), a site responsive production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (2017), and an original, physical production based on Rilke’s Book of Hours (2016).
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.