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Acting

I have trained in a variation of the Meisner technique, studied the major methods in New York and have a strong classical background. However, I believe there is no single way or method to create a role or craft a performance. My primary objectives as a performing artist are to serve and convey theatrical material through the articulation of the actor’s tools—the voice, body, imagination, and feelings. Full command of the actor’s tools enables the actor to respond freely to external stimuli—other actors, the audience, the scenic environment—and to impulses from within. The free actor will be “in the moment” and deeply connected to his/her fellow actors and the dramatic material. The actor articulate in the use of the tools will fulfill the demands of the material, and realize the choices of the director and his/her own choices, too. Although every theatrical event has its unique demands, acting is essentially the application of energy to a task—performing actions—doing something, toward some end, within some set of circumstances. This is the business of the actor and the main focus of my work: playing actions, transforming material/text into playable actions, connecting to the action and to fellow actors, and finally structuring those actions into a performance.

The practice of creating a performance in a variety of venues is central to my development as a theater artist. Half Moon Theatre Company and work in other professional theaters offer opportunities to explore the traditional repertory and new plays. Each role is an opportunity for me to put into practice what I teach in the classroom, to experiment with new approaches and methodologies, develop professional contacts, and to expand my understanding of the art and craft of acting.


Directing

Harold Clurman says at the beginning of On Directing that there is no “one method, one correct way” to direct—but that each director, like every artist, must work out their own laws for themselves. The foundation of my directing is built on solid research, detailed analysis, and facilitating the creativity of all the artists involved in a production.

Research is a vital and important part of my process. An understanding of the historical, socio-economic, political, and cultural background from which the material developed is crucial in order to fulfill the demands of the material. After researching, I analyze the tasks and actions, and derive concepts of environment, movement, and rhythm from that analysis. My approach to analysis is primarily structural but I also employ a variety of non-traditional methods to elucidate the text and to clarify character. Finally, all the research and analysis must be effectively communicated to the creative artists involved in the production. I believe my primary task as a director is to facilitate the creative process of all the artists involved, with each participant serving the intent of the theatrical material, be it text-based or developed by an ensemble of theatre artists. I focus on encouraging rich and compelling performances, and telling the story through clear, inventive staging.

As a professional director, my work was initially with new texts and emerging playwrights, but in the last several years I have worked with several companies, most importantly with Half Moon Theatre Company. This has enabled me to work deeply with an established ensemble and develop an aesthetic particular to the group. The value of my professional work to students lies in the generation of interactive opportunities for them with professionals (I have cast several students in these when the contract permitted) and the enrichment of my teaching in the classroom.