DirectorsLabChicago is pleased to announce the newest addition to our steering committee, Anna Trachtman. Anna is a freelance director, producer, and arts advocate, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nonprofit Management at DePaul. She joins DLC as Managing Director effective immediately, and is already hard at work in the planning of our 2017 Lab, Director–Audience: Engaging and Challenging a Distracted World.
DirectorsLabChicago is both saddened and excited today as we announce a change in leadership and a move into our next chapter. Our Artistic Director and co-founder, Elizabeth Margolius, has announced her decision to no longer lead the Chicago-based artist service organization she founded twelve years ago. She and the board have chosen DLC staffer and long-time local theater director Wm. Bullion as her replacement.
The debate over playwright’s rights and intents versus director’s artistic vision and license is not going to be settled anytime soon. If ever.
Like so many things, it’s an incredibly nuanced conversation with excellent arguments to be made in favor of several different approaches. We could probably start this 30-day countdown over and spend the entire month sharing on this topic alone, and still not cover all the angles.
If you read our two-part interview with Evan Tsitsias this weekend, you know that this international collaboration is one of the primary hallmarks of the Lab network. In that spirit, the resource we’re sharing today examines the role of theatre on the international stage.
Evan Tsitsias knows a thing or two about Directors Labs. He attended the flagship NYC Lincoln Center Lab in 2009 and 2010, and our own Chicago Lab in 2011. He was so inspired by the experience that he founded Directors Lab North in Canada, and has also been a driving force behind the World Wide Lab.
Adventure Stage Chicago, resident in and extension of the Northwestern Settlement on Chicago’s west side, serves a population for which English is predominantly not the first language. Over the past several years, they’ve developed and refined a way to actively engage this audience with their heroic stories about young people: they supertitle them all in Spanish.
As a theatre maker, I’ve always sought out unconventional opportunities. Whether that’s staging a giant spectacle with 30 young people wearing rabbit masks on the rooftop of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (happened) or re-imagining a Japanese folktale in someone’s living room in an unfamiliar part of the city (also happened), I enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction that comes from doing something that requires a kind of translation.
A play written by a deaf playwright for deaf actors, but could also be performed by a hearing-abled cast? A play with a storyline about being deaf and/or the deaf experience? A play performed in sign language? A play with a supporting character who is deaf? A play with an all-deaf cast or just one deaf character?
I was first exposed to Jeremy Gable’s Twitter play The 15th Line when it was revived… er, retweeted… last fall by NYU professor Erin Mee. Mee wrote about her intentions for and approach to the project in HowlRound and I stumbled across the article a week or so after the eight-week production had started.
When it comes to design, there are two angles to examine in thinking about the Language of the Stage. First there is the communication between director and designer. And second is the language of design itself. The article we’re sharing today explores both.