Going back thru some old links and press in this “end of summer clean up” phase, and I came across this link to an extensive interview I did with Cat Parker about directing and life in Off-Off Broadway. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments section!
Here’s a little sample:
CP: When you’re directing, do you start with text or movement?
TE: Text. We’ll sit at a table. I’d like to do table work. I think that in New York City unfortunately, directors don’t always allow for a ton of table work, because time is money. But we probably spend three days, four days at table and then start staging stuff. I feel like until you get people up on their feet, until they have the words tied together with spatial relationships, they don’t get a full sense of relationship. So if I’m saying that ‘I love you’ but I’m twenty feet away from you, that’s different from saying it two feet away from you, and those kinds of things start to color the staging. I want to get them in physical proximity to each other as quickly as possible so we can start moving things around.
CP: Talk to me a little bit about working with designers. Do you enjoy the production side of things?
TE: I do. I like designers who come in with a point of view, especially because I don’t do a ton of research when it comes to things. I’m interested in what their response to something is. And I like the collaborative process of having a discussion about what the actor will be doing and what the visuals of the things should look like. I get the smartest people around me and get the fuck out of the way. I make that my rule – I don’t want to be the smartest person in the room.
CP: At what point in the process do you bring designers in?
TE: I like to have the team set pretty early, about a month before we go into rehearsal, so we can talk about what the responses are. Give people the chance to live with it a little bit. Because I think that relationship starts the moment that conversation starts. So if you were designing costumes for me, I would want us to have plenty of time to sit down and say, “Here’s what I think the play is about.” And you say, “Great! I want that, too” or “I don’t see that.” And then we’re gonna go away with it for a little while, and that will ruminate for a little bit and you go, “Oh, you know what? I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve read it again, you’re right, but I would do this instead.” So the more chances you get to breathe, the more chance you have of getting something that’s as complex and as interesting as you want it to be.
You can read the whole thing here at https://catlander.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/director-tim-errickson/