What inspired you to work with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble and their current play, Pure Confidence?
I first met company members Jason and Yvonne Lee from Lower Depth while I was working on The Model Apartment at The Geffen Playhouse. I had also met managing director Courtney Buchan back when she was a student of mine at Pepperdine, and then later I met Gregg Daniel at another event. So, it seemed like Lower Depth was everywhere! We started talking about finding a play to work on together, and then Gregg suggested I direct Pure Confidence and I just really responded to the story.
Although on the surface it seems like a period piece, what I loved about the play was how contemporary the characters felt. In what ways do we still fall short of offering “liberty and justice for all”? What does it mean to be “free” — when you don’t really have freedom of opportunity? How do the best of intentions infect our ability to truly know, love and respect one another?
What’s the most joyful part of your work?
The most joyful part of my work is collaborating with the cast and design team! I love being in the rehearsal hall, particularly with a group like this who are all so collaborative — everyone is deeply committed to the play and really digging in, not only to discover his or her own character, but also really seeking to honor the story. Everyone has been so generous in the process, and also fun! It makes me want to jump out of bed and get to rehearsal!
Is there someone who guided or mentored you – someone whose work or words or influence touched you along the way and helped you become who you are today?
One person who really mentored me in life and career was the visionary actor/director Ruth Maleczech. Ruth was a mentor to many young artists, and when I was a young director she was one of the only women I knew who had children and a vibrant professional and artistic life. Ruth believed in my work and nurtured my voice, she helped me gain confidence and learn to trust the process. She lead by example, leading an extraordinary artistic life, never compromising, always putting the art first. She was also on the Advisory Board of Voice & Vision, the theatre company that I ran in NY, and in countless ways assisted us in navigating the challenging road of a young company. She left an amazing legacy — personally, professionally, and artistically.
Share with us your experience with Lower Depth or perhaps tell us who guided or mentored you? We would love to hear from you…