Growing up as a small child in Alaska, most of my free time was spent in the woods behind my best friend’s house, making up stories about wizards, jedi, dragons, and robots. We pretended we were characters in our favorite movies, and played elaborate make believe games that went on for months and occasionally years. We each would assume the role of a character, and allowed them to grow and change as we described our adventures to each other.
Getting to play make believe was so important to me that I had to find a way to continue this passion as an adult. As a director, I enjoy the chance to run a room where make believe and play are essential. In my rehearsals, the imaginative freedom we all have as children is set free through viewpoints and improv exercises, using music and a narrative to guide the actors through the themes of the script while letting them create the world from their own minds. I let them inspire my choices in staging, and enjoy the chance to see each actor’s creativity and imagination.
I believe each actor is their own best director. When I put a show together, my job is to create a playground for the actors to explore. They should understand the rules of the playground, and are encouraged to build or play in their own unique way.
11/4/18 - Robert Newman
Red by John Logan Jordan Palmer as Mark Rothko
Lilly Thorne as Ken
Stage Management, Dramaturgy, Assistant Direction by
In November of 2018 I directed a 30 minute cut of John Logan’s Red. The script takes place in artist Mark Rothko’s studio, in which paint is spread over canvas to create one of his iconic abstract expressionist paintings. Lacking the budget for paints and canvas, I taught my actors, who were artists themselves, to use an old pen tablet connected to a Photoshop Elements program I had on my laptop.
The Laptop was projected onto the cyclorama, and was used throughout the play to display the numerous paintings mentioned by the two characters, as well as to play music, provide visual examples, mix colors, and ultimately, create a virtual painting made new by the actors every night.
A playlist of the music used in the production can be found on Spotify here.
I have directed two productions through the Boston Conservatory’s senior directing emphasis. Alongside Red, I directed and produced a female-led and completely queer production of Stephen Schwartz and Roger O’Hirson’s Pippin in 2019. My team and I had a lot of fun with this show conceptually, and reimagined it as if the lead role of Pippin were played by the show's original director, Bob Fosse (played by Jules Bartling). School policy prevents me from posting production photos from Pippin, but I’d love to talk about it with you! Contact me.