Catherine Weider, director of Othello

Catherine Weider, director of Othello

What’s your “deal?”
My mother was born in Egypt and my father was an American raised in Beirut.  We grew up in Illinois, where I walked soybeans and detassled corn (don’t ask). I saw a production of The Crucible at a local college in 8th grade and thought, “You can major in that?”  The rest is history.

Catherine at Globe Theatre in London

Catherine at Globe Theatre in London

Tell us a little bit about your path to directing.
I had to take Directing I as part of my BFA Acting degree at Ithaca College, where I am now the chair, and that class made me think about the whole play, not just my role. It made me such a better actor, and then I didn’t care about acting as much. Then I got more acting work, of course. So I kept directing and went to get an MFA and loved thinking about the big picture. I had incredible mentors, mostly dramaturgs, who taught me to ask questions, not find answers.

What fuels you creatively or what is your super power?
What fuels me is telling the story. Is the story clear? What’s the story on stage?

My super power is Vitamin C.

Measure for Measure at DePaul University

What made you say yes to directing Othello and what part of it gets you excited?
The whole world is in Othello. It is one of my favorite stories and I never thought anyone would ask me. A play is a ticket on a journey, and I never say no to a journey. What gets me excited about it is thinking about how you believe what you see rather than listen to those you love. I want to show how horrible is to wake up every morning and think about strategy, like Iago does. That is a lonely and miserable path.

Who is your favorite playwright and why?
Seriously? Shakespeare. Because he makes me use every single muscle in my body and my brain. Second? Ike Holter. Ditto. And the same love and use of language.

As You Like It, TAM

What did you care most about when you were 10 years old?
It’s a tie. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Describe yourself in three alliterative words.
Positive, Peppy, Possum