“You can't live in the world without an idea of the world, but it's living that makes the ideas. You can't wait for a theory, but you have to have a theory.” -Tony Kushner, Perestroika
Mission and Ideology
Using creative and pragmatic techniques, developed through a lifetime engaging in the arts and education, to work collaboratively to examine the systems in place, analyze their effectiveness, bolster what works, decompose what does not work, and use that energy to build more sustainable, flexible, equitable structures that nurture the diversity of human experience and identity
To foster kindness, bravery, agency, and belonging through the development of interpersonal relationships; to create space in which individuals and the collective empower each other in a reciprocal process of uplift
"As a director and teacher, the foundation of my work is building a space in which collective energy can be utilized for a shared purpose, uplifting each individual while building something structural. I am unflinchingly self-reflective, which allows me to lead from a place not of ego but of action. In other words, not 'Is this good or bad?' but 'Does this work?' The question expands: 'Who for?' and then, 'How can this work for everyone?' We hypothesize. We implement. We ask again, 'Does this work?'
"Cultural work is bizarre; hard to quantify, it often seems abstract, and can be brushed by in favor of the more easily reducible, yet culture impacts and is impacted by everything."
"It is not enough for me to do theatre. The theatre I do must be invested with intention and based in love and accessibility. I believe in theatre as a dynamic tool, and it is essential to me that I wield it in a way that is never harmful, that works through harm toward equity. It is not enough for me to play out the mechanics of performing, designing, or directing, because theatre is just the form, my preferred conduit for creativity, complexity, and connection. There is joy in that structure, but only when supported by catalytic intent."
"I believe true power is created through mutualism; power, like theatre, does not reside in people, but between them….thus inclusivity, in addition to being a moral imperative, makes for better theatre. If there are wider or more plentiful gaps, we have more space between us in which to build. The wider the variety of a group’s identities and life experiences, the more layered our understanding of life."
"This is what I love to do: curate the space in which it happens. My greatest pleasure is in bringing together a group of very different people, and facilitating a space in which each person can find agency and belonging...Difference is the realm of creation, of connection; it opportunes us to reach beyond our self, to discover the depth of our relation and construct new pathways to the inaccessible. Theatre is a medium of paradox, which I have come to think of as a term not for contradiction but for a multiplicity of truths. My goal as a director is to make room for as many truths as can or need be found. I no longer attempt to make a distinction within myself between the personal, political, and artistic...I have come to understand that art must always engage itself as a political production, that artists must think about both the content and context of their work through a socio-political lens in order for the production to feel full. Without that thoughtfulness, even the most skillful and aesthetic of productions will leave the audience wanting. But so too must the work be skillful. Without an aesthetic quality, the thought of the production cannot be successfully conveyed. It is not a matter of compromising between beauty and idea, but rather developing each to fuel the other."
"I want to make theatre that changes people—theatre that enables people to change themselves...Theatre offers freedom. No—theatre offers space, and our action in that space conjures scraps of freedom. Like theatre itself, that freedom is impermanent and indelible. It is essential. With all the hatred abounding and institutionalized in our current world, theatre cultivates a practice of love. Within a world trending toward extremism fueled by simplification, theatre’s multiplicity trains resistance and coexistence. There is so much work to be done."