Saturday, October 13, 2007

Female Directors: Take Two

In AMERICAN THEATRE Magazine this month, there was a series of articles about different directors around the country called "Inside the Mind of A Director". They included three female directors: Anne Kauffman, Maria Mileaf, and Rebecca Bayla Taichman.

I had never heard of any of these woman and yet as soon as I read their article I knew that they were exactly the inspiration I was looking for. All of them have directed some amazing plays, (plays that I would like to direct now and probably wouldn't be able to) and work with the top playwrights. My favorite include, but not limited to: Adam Rapp (who also has an article in this months AT), Adam Bock (I Assistant Directed his show THE THUGS @ PCS, which won several Drammy Awards), Sarah Ruhl and Anne Washburn. The major difference between them and me is the age factor. These women made it to the big leagues but they are more than ten years my senior. It was mentioned that Maria Mileaf even had two kids and a husband in the business (scenic designer Neil Patel). The fact that this was mentioned made it sound like this was a rarity in the business. If that is true, then more for me to tackle, but it makes sense because the business is very demanding of our time.

Well, this really put things in perspective for me. I've got time and I have my work cut out for me. I am the type of person who pushes them to achieve a goal and once I get there, it's not enough; it's on to the next challenge. Always improving. Often times this causes me to be impatient with the pace of life. This is what I get for being the oldest child.

What I really loved about this series of articles was how each directors' skill was highlighted. Each approach was different and it was also their strength. This is inspiring stuff to a female director just starting out. The only thing that worried me is that it seemed that all of the women had gone to graduate school and that this excelled their career. Graduate school is great, but I was hoping that this wasn't the "path" to becoming a great director. I love learning and I'm sure they learned more, but the thought of spending more money and becoming further in debt is a little frightening. I want to go to graduate school because it interests me and I want to go, not NEED to go in order to advance my career to the next level. Does that seem silly?

1 comment:

Mead said...

O yes, all three of those directors you first mention are fabulous. You know what we should do -- with all that spare time we have lying around -- is to contact each of them about the new work they're excited about working on in the near future. I would be so proud to have any one of them participating in JAW with us this summer.

Thanks for the intriguing account of your Seattle sojourn and of C&P at Theater Under Ground. Looking forward to your impressions of Book-It's current show.