From the Assistant Director of Other Desert Cities
Theatre has been and still is an apprentice art form.
One of the ways in which an emerging director can grow is to learn from the rehearsal hall of a veteran director. The growth that occurs by “being in the room” does not come from the job that assistant directors do. Assistant directors may track props for the director, type notes that the director whispers into their ear during a run thru of the play or get coffee for the ensemble. What an emerging director is hoping for is “tips.” Hoping that during the course of the production a situation will arise in working with the actors, designers or the script in which a nugget of wisdom that they can learn from arises. I agree with the director Jon Jory in his sentiments that a quick “tip” from an experienced director can save an emerging director years of trying to figure out how to solve challenges in great story telling.
Assistant Directors Thoughts On the Play: Other Desert Cities
The Washington Post did an interview with Jon Robin Baitz where he explains that this play is searching for, “a new way of looking at well-intentioned conservatives who had not been watching the candy store, and while not watching, had it stolen by the right wing.”
While politics play a factor in the script, the play really is a family story. We have parental ideas that are challenged by their children. While the play explores a number of topics such as family loyalty, memory vs/ the truth and secrets, it is all done within the context of a loving family. As lines are crossed, or drawn in the sand, the ever changing relationship of being parents, siblings and adult children of parents is what allows this story to resonate with us.
A holiday reunion can be a stressful time, yet whatever happens during a family reunion we can hope that we are better for it. No one knows us quite like our family, and those ties run in our blood. As the writer Dodie Smith penned “The family- that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.”
Joshua Waterstone is a director, actor, producer, and teaching artist who recently graduated as a Master of Fine Arts in Directing for Stage and Screen from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Joshua served as Artistic Director of the theatre company Theatrix for three years before moving to North Carolina. Joshua is an adjunct professor of theatre at Forsyth Tech. This past fall he produced and directed the world premiere of Bullet by playwright Becky Boesen at the New Orleans Fringe Festival. Other favorite productions directed include Middletown by Will Eno and Sarah Ruhl’s comedy about sadness Melancholy Play that he produced and directed for Theatrix. Melancholy Play was a regional selection in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region V. Festival and received awards in directing, design and acting at the festival. Joshua also produces and directs in film and Cubical Life by Micah Kafka; has screened at Woodshole Film Festival, Omaha Film Fest, Jersey Shore Shorts, El Dorado: Screens of Gold, the University Film and Video Association and The Bare Bones International Film Festival where it was awarded “Best Micro Short”. Joshua received a best director award for Theatrix 2012-2013 season. Joshua is also an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, a Society of American Fight Directors member and Actor/Combatant, a certified yoga teacher and AEA-EMC.