Roulette: Three Plays on Gun Violence in American Schools

Roulette: Three Plays on Gun Violence in American Schools

This was a hard show to work on in terms of the subject matter. With all of the mass shootings going on in America I thought it was important to bring awareness to the mass amount of shootings in our country and the effects it has on us. Roulette is told in three stories. The first story is about a primary school shooting, the second a shooting taking place in high school focusing the hate we put on otherness and takes place in college with a young man using a gun to get the grade he wants. All of these stories have a place in the realm of possibility and this is why Ben Baylon and I decided we had to put this show up now. This show taught me a lot about myself and my values. I was able to further shape what I want my art to be and that was to be a tool for teaching. If you knew me you’d know I usually keep things light and I try to steep everything in humor, that is why this show was so important for my body of work. This show pushed me out of my comfort zone, taught me how to talk about tough subjects and how to handle serious scenes with actors. The proceeds from this show went to help fund CPS schools, which I try to support in many things I do. Nothing is more important than learning and teaching.

Disaster!

Disaster!

I’m very proud to have this show under my belt because it was the first musical I had ever assistant directed professionally and it was HILARIOUS. I worked on this show with director Benjamin Baylon for Chicago Theatre Workshop. Disaster! is every 70’s disaster film put on stage and mixed with the best 70’s hits you could imagine. It takes place on a floating casino boat, The Barracuda, did I mention this show takes place in the 70’s? Anyway a whole bunch of outrageous and campy tragedies start to unfold forcing the patrons to ban together in order to make it to see another day. I was challenged throughout this entire process because I had come from doing small productions with no budgets and low stakes environment, this was a whole new ball game. It taught me a lot about putting up a professional production and what comes with it. The Director and I wold work endlessly putting together rehearsal plans, changing blocking hundreds of times and constantly changing what the vision of the production was to us. It also pushed me to learn new skills. Working on this show meant putting together a team so I was in charge of finding stage managers, understudies and a costume team. This meant constantly reaching out to new people and interviewing them. It was an awesome opportunity to be the interviewer, whereas I am used to being the Interviewee. I truly cherish the time I spent with this show because it taught me what kind of creator and director i needed to be.

Set Design by Evan Frank

Costume Design by Shelby

Photo by Nick Roth

Liberal Wet Dream

Liberal Wet Dream

This is a piece I directed with Benjamin Baylon for the ARCitext Festival through the Arc Theatre. It is a fantasy piece about the state of our country right now. Everyone is asking, "Is this really happening?," "Is Trump really our president?" In this short play written by,Eric Duhon, it's all a joke. Mike Pence is actually open minded, Trump isn't actually a bad person, Melania is a women's rights advocate and Hilary is in on the whole gag. This piece really let me put my skills into action. I was given the freedom to play around with different techniques and further my knowledge of who I am as a director. I know that I am a director who relies on collaboration and ideas of everyone in the room. This production allowed me to hone in on my leadership skills. 

Night Runner

Night Runner

I assisted Lisa Portes on the world premier of Night Runner, written by Ike Holter. Night Runner is a children's show that is modeled after Harriet Tubman's struggles and heroism. This musical took historical facts and mashed it into a graphic novel aesthetic in order to tell the story of a true super hero, Harriet Tubman. This was an emotional and intriguing process in terms of material and talent. I was able to work hands on with actors and the playwright to help build the world of the play. 

 

Lighting Design by Eric Phillips

Set Design by Camila Devereux

Costume design by Megan Pirtle

Photo by Michael Brosilow

 

Film Revue

Film Revue

Film Revue is one of the most fluid experiences I have had as a director. Film Revue is a sketch show directed by Daniella Mazzio that I assisted on, wrote for, and acted in. The directing portion of my experience was experimental because we used be improvisation to build the production. We incorporated a live sketch show with elements of live streaming. We would film a part of the sketch show live on Facebook which would give our audience an extra experience that they could take home with them after the show was over. This show was a way of messing with the sketch form and expressing direction through collaboration.

A Lie of the Mind

A Lie of the Mind

I assisted Azar Kazemi on this intro piece, written by Sam Shepard. This was an interesting process that worked more on collaboration between all parties of the production including directors, stage management, and actors. This was the second year actor's debut, so the direction was teaching based as well. This process taught me who I wanted to be as a director and how I would shape my process in the rehearsal room. I gained valuable knowledge from creating the world and fleshing out characters through excessive table work. Conversation is the most crucial part in putting a production on its feet.