As a director and educator, I believe that the most powerful artists are those who never stop learning. I see the process of creating a play as our constant classroom, our dojo, our place of transformation. The ideal artistic workspace contains rigor, play, a deep personal and collective quest, a wild daring, skill sharing, trust and vulnerability. It is a place where we peel the layers off ourselves and by doing so, expose what is tender and raw. The question, the problem, the social need.
It is a pleasure to work with the full team of creatives that commit to a project, to learn their many artistic languages and to discover the visual, aural and physical world of the play. Designers, performers, writers, technicians… it is important to me to create a strong sense of respect and genuine value across these teams. As director, my goal is to empower the group to define and care for our company culture, the work we do and the way we work: speaking up and trusting our instincts, hashing it out, listening, leveraging limitation, bringing humor, curiosity and resilience to the game.
I feel lucky to have had a wide range of directorial experiences, from outdoor pieces playing to hundreds of viewers, to indoor shows with intimate casts of seasoned professionals, to large ensembles of 70 or more eager students, from preschoolers to seniors, in both rural and urban settings.
Part guide, part provocateur, as a director, I aim to ignite. To fuel a powerful opening, generate an atmosphere of razor sharp focus, strong precision, a spirit of adventure and a tangible sense of true connection within the ensemble. I see this word ensemble as a verb, an action, a thing we do with and for each other. For me, it is a way of practicing an agile leadership that can navigate smoothly between group explorations and a clear, decisive guiding voice.
Dan Kurtz & Carlye Pollack in REDWOLF. Photo by Serena Morelli.
Phil Wharton, Cecilia Palmtag & Lisa Klein in OPEN. Photo by Anna Kaminska.
Ragged Wing Ensemble company retreat.