Photo: Nick Granito
With Najla Said. Photo: Sara Krulwich, The New York Times
Photo: Matthew Sussman
After college I moved to New York to be an actor. I instantly fell in love with my new city and most everything about life in the theater. I even found freedom in the total lack of security that comes with being a freelance artist. Fortunately, I was able to land enough acting roles to stay in the business and – crucially – develop artistically over time.
As I entered my forties I became deeply interested in all aspects of theatrical production. I began to direct and work with playwrights. I loved new plays and the challenges of putting them onstage. My goal, always, was to make the playwright’s intent as compelling as possible without overstepping the boundaries of the text. I valued language, specificity, theatricality, and humor. Directing actors was particularly enjoyable, but for a good number of years I did almost no acting myself.
Ultimately, I missed being onstage. Missed the challenge of facing an audience on a nightly basis. It’s the actors who make or break each singular performance of a play. When actors, audience and the play connect, nothing is better. My goal: To be the best actor I can be for every director, playwright and fellow actor I have the privilege of working with.
Portland Stage, Maine
Off-Broadway, Theatre at St. Clements, NYC
Conceived and developed by Abigail Killeen, written by Rose Courtney
Adapted from the short story by Isak Dinesen
Directed by Karin Coonrod