Archive for the 'other projects' Category

Lovers and Executioners

November 9, 2007

My next show opens soon.


new job, new blog

March 15, 2007

I’ve moved from Marin Shakespeare to Marin Theatre Company, where I am now the Artistic Director of Expanded Programs (which means I’m running Education, Outreach, and Theatre for Young Audiences, for starters). I’ll be directing there this Fall.

Here’s the link for the MTC Blog. I’ll be posting probably twice a week; other contributers include MTC’s Artistic Director and one representative from each production as they happen. This link is an archive of just my posts. Here’s the feed for subscribing.

Hamlet on Trial

February 9, 2007

A real Supreme Court Justice will preside over a trial; real lawyers will argue whether Hamlet was insane when he murdered Polonius.


I love this. But there’s really no question. Hamlet has to have been sane — conscious of and responsible for what he did — or nothing is at stake dramatically.

I’m not reviving this blog. Just couldn’t resist posting this. But I may soon start a new blog for my new job… I’ll post details here within a few weeks…


December 5, 2006

Quick update on what’s been happening with me lately:

  • I’ve been editing the Hamlet video in my spare time.  I have a rough cut of the whole play, with four cameras on two different nights.  Now I’m trying to cut a short montage to post on my website — it’s going well but it will be a while because of all the other stuff going on in my life.  Such as:
  • I’ve just been hired to be the stage director on The Crucible‘s Fire Ballet version of the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet.  I’m collaborating with an amazing group of people, including a choreographer from the San Francisco Ballet, a bboy troupe as the Montagues (the top breakdancer on the west coast is playing Mercutio), a wushu martial arts troupe as the Capulets, fire dancers, a troupe of aerialists, a whirling dervish with a flaming kilt as the Prince, a metalsmith pouring molten bronze wedding rings as Friar Lawrence, swordsmiths making propane-powered flaming swords for the Mercutio/Tybalt fight, and on and on and on.  Tonight the bboys met the wushu troupe for the first time; they had an impromptu dance-off and taught each other how to headspin and wield swords.
  • My job as the Education Director at the Marin Shakespeare Company is going well.
  • I’m going to be a father sometime in the next few days.

So things are exciting and wonderful and crazy.

This Dane is Blogged

September 30, 2006

I’m loving my new job as Education Director of the Marin Shakespeare Company, but it’s quickly becoming clear that I’m not going to be able to continue regular posts about Hamlet. Which, considering the show closed a month and a half ago, is probably appropriate anyway. I’ll leave this blog up, and I’ll continue to post erratically — when I can’t sleep, or when something occurs to me, or when the official archive photos finally come in, or when I finish editing more of the video. But no more trying to post something every week.

I’ve had a great time writing Blogging the Dane, and the process of articulating all my thoughts about the play here had a definite positive impact on the production — a huge percentage of directing is simply articulating ideas (to actors and designers, and through them to the audience), and anything directors can do to improve their ability to articulate themselves will make a difference. If, in addition, this was entertaining or enlightening to anyone who happened to read it, so much the better.

Eventually, I hope to create an index for this blog that I can show to prospective employers. For now, this archive is a good place to start.

I love Shakespeare. I want more people to love Shakespeare, and that means making better and better productions of his plays. This is how I’ve tried to do it — this time. Onwards.

The play’s the thing.

Big News

September 20, 2006

I’ve just been hired as the Education Director for the Marin Shakespeare Company. More about this soon.

theatre without lighting

August 25, 2006

Lucas Krech, a lighting designer, blogger, collaborator, friend, and frequent commenter here, wrote on his blog the other day about a play I directed several years ago in a community center under the room’s flourescent lighting — he’s interested in why that worked, and in the idea that “Any show should be complete and dramatically compelling when performed under worklights and in rehearsal clothes.” Go read his post. I touched on this idea in a post a while back about the Richard Burton Hamlet.

Our production of Hamlet this summer had very minimal lighting — eight ungelled instruments on two poles. An actor with some tech background was in charge of hanging and focusing them during the setup each night, and his job was to make everything visible. We had no lighting cues — not even a blackout at the end of the show.

I love having good lighting in the shows I direct. But I also like the challenge of sucking the audience in without it. Shakespeare wrote for sunlight.

time flies

July 30, 2006

I’m not done with this blog, despite my failure to write a new post for the last two weeks. I’ve been in the Bay Area, directing a group of teenagers in a script-in-hand performance of Brecht’s Galileo at ACT while finding an apartment in Berkeley.  That’s all done now.

Tomorrow, my wife and I head back to LA.  I’ll see the last couple performances of Hamlet and then move up to Berkeley for good.

I have a lot more to say about Hamlet.  Bear with me.  Check back once a week or so.  That’s how often I was posting originally, and I should be able to get back to that rate now.  Thanks for reading.

Going away party

July 15, 2006

I saw the show again last night for the first time since opening. It’s looking good. Afterwards, the actors threw me a going-away party at the local dive bar. It was very sweet — several actors from previous shows I directed in LA and Anaheim over the last couple of years showed up, along with a couple of friends from out of town. Lots of drinking and talking and reminiscing.

I moved to LA three years ago with my wife, who was starting grad school (for Epidemiology) at UCLA. I had just finished my MFA in Directing in Seattle, and had no theatre connections in LA. The first year here was almost completely dry for me career-wise, which was incredibly dispiriting after just having completed an intense three years of training. I was trying to find directing work the hard way: sending out resumes to theaters where I didn’t know anyone. Eventually, I did get a couple of gigs that way, and both those gigs led to more gigs, and then people I met doing those first gigs set me up with other gigs, and I ended up working nonstop for the last two years.

Now my wife is done with school, and we’re moving back up to Berkeley (where we’re both from). I have more connections there, but I’m still expecting a delay before the directing gigs start coming.

Ultimately, I’ve been very lucky in southern California. I’ve worked with amazing, kind, generous, talented, intelligent people, and I’m proud of the theatre that we’ve made. Seeing so many of these people all together last night was humbling and inspiring and wonderful. Here’s hoping my luck continues up north.

another directing blog

June 15, 2006

There aren't many of them out there, which is part of the reason I started Blogging the Dane. But here's one with a post I liked: the director's to-do list just a few days before opening. I especially like this:

-have backup plan for the staging of the “Telephone Room” scene in case the lighting/props cannot be made to work, or made to work properly in the time involved (Friday day)

And this:

-get a good night’s sleep before opening (Friday-Saturday)

Thanks for sharing your stuff, Ian.