Forgotten Kingdoms will premiere at Rorschach Theatre in April 2017 and this winter will be spent working on the script. After a reading at the Kennedy Center in September, I’ll be developing it in Asia in December and January and having a staged reading in Jakarta mid January. The play – about a missionary in Indonesia whose life changes during an encounter with a young local he is trying to convert – will have some public readings, including development in Malaysia and Indonesia. The full production starts previews at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on April 22.
2016 has been a busy and exciting year, culminating this fall with my recent production at Georgetown University of Naomi Iizuka’s Anon(ymous) – an adaptation of the Odyssey told through the eyes of a young refugee. Rorschach Theatre – the company I run with Jenny McConnell Frederick – recently closed its fall production, A Bid to Save the World. The world premiere by Erin Bregman has had a long history of development in Washington and the production as directed by Lee Liebeskind was a testament to the beautiful, impossible piece of theatre that Erin wrote.
Earlier this year:
In August I helped to create an immersive piece called Thesmophoria as a fundraiser for Rorschach Theatre. The piece combined multiple stories with wordless dance pieces that I directed and wrote. Also in August, I directed Columbinus (a fictionalized and highly theatrical retelling of the columbine tragedy) with a group of wildly talented high school students taking part in Theater Lab’s Summer Institute for Teens.
In April I directed Stefanie Zadravec’s The Electric Baby at Rorschach Theatre, the area premiere of a play about a group of fractured souls who encounter a magical dying baby and begin to rewrite the stories of their lives. April also included performances of two educational projects I directed: Lord of the Flies at Imagination Stage’s Acting Conservatory (cast almost entirely with teenage girls) and a ferocious retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau at Theatre Lab.
My production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream ran at WSC Avant Bard in January and February. Incorporating an east-meets-west aesthetic inspired by Indonesian Wayang Kulit and Gamelan music, the fairies were performed as Shadow Puppets while the rest of the characters lived in the non-shadow world. Actors manipulated the puppets and performed in a found-object percussion orchestra.
In January Very Still & Hard to See (which I directed in 2015) was nominated for five Helen Hayes awards including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director of a Play. Steve Yockey’s wild mash-up of Japanese Ghost Stories, Twilight Zone mystery and Stephen King horror – ran at Rorschach Theatre in April, 2015. We placed audience on the stage of the Lang Theatre at the Atlas Performing Arts Center and began telling the story in the elevator. We incorporated masks and Suzuki-inspired movement and stitched together worlds with an electro-swing soundtrack.