I am left-handed, and in a world so thoroughly oriented to the ‘right,’ my view is always unavoidably skewed. Perpetually on the opposite side of ‘normal,’ my left-handedness never fails to incite me to operate in an intrinsically unconventional manner: I always seem to see things another way. Therefore, the major concern of my work involves digging into texts or ideas that have accumulated ‘cultural baggage’ to then present them in a manner that encourages audiences to experience them and think about them in fresh, new ways.
My aesthetic focuses on conjuring the extra-ordinary, and my productions evolve at the intersection of music, movement, and metaphor. With each production, I pose a set of theoretical and practical questions I wish to investigate, and develop a conceptual framework that shapes a production’s mise-en-scène and allows it to operate on the level of metaphor. I work in a horizontal manner in which no element is more important than any other, each speaking its own language, in the service of crafting athletic, visceral productions. I consider the rehearsal and performance space no less a laboratory than that of the chemist, who, like the artist, concocts and experiments as a means of discovery. And I am focused, first and foremost, on forming each new temporarily-gathered band of strangers into a true ensemble, working as a company of artists experimenting to reach collectively-articulated goals via collectively-practiced means. In this way, my aesthetic is closer to weaving or knitting, shaping or sculpting – or, I daresay, composing – something unique and couture, rather than merely ‘staging the play.’
This work involves crafting a rehearsal process that is in conversation with the fundamental dramaturgy of the play. That is: the content and form of the material I am rehearsing informs how I rehearse it. In this way, I consider myself a composer of action, a wrighter of play. I remain invested in exploring the physical intensity engendered in the communion of performer and spectator, in crafting environmental, immersive experiences in which audiences are wrapped. I conceive of theatre less as a product enacted for an audience, but rather as a sensory experience in which audiences are invited to participate: performance as event rather than object, one that erases the hard lines often drawn between performers and spectators.
I make theatre because I believe it is as necessary to our survival as water or air. We need theatre – an awesome center for and of community – the way we need each other: to gather, to talk things over, to share stories, and to experience – together – something human. I believe in the enormity of what the theatre can be and do. On stage we rehearse empathy, creating societies in which we model alternative notions of how to be with one another in the world. In other words, we make visible an impression of the possible and, actually, expand the limitations of what is possible. What is theatre-making if not imagined possibility, realized?