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theatre director, educator, and arts administrator
member, stage directors & choreographers society
For me, theatre-making is not a job. It’s how I express who I am, what I feel about myself, what I feel about my environment, what I feel about the world.
- Ivo van Hove
Theatre is an art and what is important is not that people have fun but that the final result is an art.
- María Irene Fornés
Creating theatre is a process, not of staging the dramatist’s text, but of using the motivation and opportunity for expression to be found in a text to establish a space where certain directors and certain seductive actors can exist and, at a certain moment in time, lure on an audience that has come, not to see a certain drama, but to experience what it is like to be in that particular space with these particular people.
- Ian Carruthers, "The Theatre of Suzuki Tadashi"
It might be fiction, but it's not fake. The beating hearts in front of you are real. The gathering of people is real. The time we spend together, this time, is real. The story is real when it starts.
- Lauren Gunderson, "The Revolutionists"
I believe good theatre resists the urge to explain too much; the theatrical imagination can understand things that are implied through action, suggestion, image, gesture, simplicity. By leaving things out or letting physicality, style, and tone tell the story, we involve the audience as they stretch their imaginations.
– Hideki Noda
If people want to see something they already understand, they shouldn't go to the theatre. They should go to the bathroom.
By good luck, I was left-handed, as indeed, throughout my whole life, I had never done aught in the right-handed way.
I am a director, educator, and arts administrator currently based in Maryland; I will be relocating to NYC in 2023. I have an MFA in Directing from Western Illinois University, a PhD in Theatre from the University of Missouri, and am currently enrolled in the MA in Arts Administration program at Rowan University. Additional training includes the DirectorsLab Chicago and LaMaMa’s International Symposium for Directors in Spoleto, Italy, as well as intensives with SITI Company and Third Rail Projects. My production of Our Town at Ozark Actor's Theatre won Best Drama and Best Director of a Drama at the 2019 St. Louis Regional BroadwayWorld Awards, and I have received commendations for directing from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for my productions of Iphigenia and Other Daughters and Mud. I am a former Board President of Missouri’s Independent Actors Theatre and served on the Executive Board of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators for 10 years. As a scholar of practice, my research has been published in the journal Stanislavski Studies and the edited collection Physical Dramaturgy. As an acting teacher, my approach is grounded in Stanislavski and Suzuki/Viewpoints. I also work as a dialect coach and a Shakespearean text coach.
I am left-handed. In a world so thoroughly oriented to the ‘right,’ my point of view is always unavoidably skewed. That is: I always seem to see things another way. I want to strengthen the artistic ecosystem in the United States and enlarge its possibilities, focusing on not only what we create but also how we create it. I think ‘because that’s the way we’ve always done it’ is perhaps the most dangerous sentence in the English language; it is important to challenge long-held assumptions and shatter the monoliths of the past.
I am not interested in simply staging plays; rather, I curate couture, ‘extra-ordinary' events that immerse spectators in a meticulously crafted theatrical world. I consider myself a composer of action and thus a ‘wrighter of play,’ and my working process is closer to what a visual artist or craftsperson does, foregrounding the importance of allowing the work to take shape and form over time. Metaphor is the bedrock of theatrical language; it is the carrier of an art work’s meaning and its organizing principle. Therefore, I work with movement, shape, rhythm, space, and time within an ensemble ethos to craft visceral, poetic, and environmental participatory experiences that form at the intersection of physical theatre, music-theatre, and visual art.
Risk and experimentation are paramount. Therefore, I consider a performance space no less a laboratory than that of the chemist, who, like the artist, concocts and experiments as a means of discovery. I ask, How do we create a world in which we operate profoundly from a place of deep care in our relations with each other? We have the opportunity to rehearse alternative notions of how to be with one another. What is art-making if not imagined possibility, realized?
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