We look to the past to shape our future. Who are you? Where are you going from here?

I’m a city mouse who loves the country.  As soon as I’m done here, I’m on to canoeing, hiking, s’mores and sleeping under the stars at summer camp in the hills of Tennessee!!

What most excites you about being a part of TAM’s 50th Anniversary Season?

I first came to Maine as a teenager to canoe the lakes in the North Woods, returned to go to college, and remained to start my theatrical career in Portland, Bangor, and Monmouth. Any summer in Maine, at TAM and among its community, is the best kind of homecoming!

We’re all about making old things new and new things classic. Why are you drawn to Classic Theatre? How do you shake it up?

What draws me to Classic theatre?  Plot – doesn’t have to be linear, literal, or obvious but I love a good story. Plays that transport me to someplace emotionally or morally surprising and leave me there to find my own way back really hold my interest.  Language matters. To me it’s one of the most beautiful and evocative things to experience from the stage. Music too. Purely theatrical conventions like direct address, juxtapositions of time and space, swordfights, and cross-dressing disguise, cheer me up.  And I believe it’s just as important to put what’s ridiculous, silly, and funny about us on stage as what’s repulsive or depraved. Plus, I really dig Shakespeare, Moliere, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.

Who inspires you and why?

I just saw The Band’s Visit on Broadway and was reminded all over again how much I admire director David Cromer’s work. Each production of his reveals a deep faith in humanity and an expectation that, come good or bad, clumsily and elegantly, people are made for connection. That he brings this off on stage with patience and confidence, in the unforced and unhurried way that he does, inspires me immensely.

You can have dinner with any three influential people. Who are your dream guests, why them, and what is the topic of conversation?

Shakespeare just feels like overreach, so I’ll go with: Jim Henson, for his obvious delight in bringing delight to others. Thornton Wilder, because his plays move me beyond what seems possible every single time and his stripped-down theatricality remains just as radical as could be. And Jacques Cousteau, whose passion for and wonder at the undersea world totally convinced me I should grow up to be him. Topic of conversation: their aha! moments and what they were like.

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

I directed a production of Twelfth Night not too long ago that was sad and funny and beautiful. More recently, I made a pot of fish chowder a few weeks back that was REALLY, REALLY great.

What’s your super power?

It’s not x-ray vision or flying or anything, but I’ve got a crazy good knack for spelling.  Maybe I was bitten by a radioactive dictionary. “With great p-o-w-e-r comes great r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y!”

 

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