The 2016 Writer/Director Lab Reading Series comes to an end on Monday May 16th with Le Jeté by Catherine Yu, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. Here’s an interview with Tiffany about her background and her thoughts on theater and life in general and how the two complement one another.
Briefly tell us about the play you are directing for The Lab.
TNG: Le Jeté is a gentle and beautiful observation of a young woman, Clare, as she transforms from a spectator of life as it swarms around her to an active participant, capable of taking charge of her own. It is an observation of space, time, art, and of observation itself. Those precious and few moments we take in our own busy days to truly live with our eyes wide open.
Who – or what – are the greatest influences on your directing?
TNG: I am greatly influenced by sociology and the studies of human behavior. Experience vs. Behavior. Internal life vs. External life and the balance that keeps us from neither imploding nor exploding. I’m influenced by the moments I see in myself and in others when that balance is off and the completely unnatural truth escapes. And observation from a distance. I think silent communication is beautiful. Thoughtful. And quite honest most of the time.
What part of the Writer/Director Lab process was the most instructive and entertaining?
TNG: Ken and Jenny set up a relaxed and productive environment from day one. The low-key atmosphere allowed the group to build trust in a really authentic way, which freed us to push and encourage one another as well as receive it. And Jenny’s name randomizer (used to decide who’s play we would read next or who would read what role) was pure entertainment every time!
How have your dramaturgical skills developed over the course of the past nine months?
TNG: My dramaturgical style has definitely morphed a bit. Moving forward, I will definitely place my initial focus on learning as much about the playwright’s intensions, purpose, and vision as possible so that I can be another ear for them and then offer feedback that is tailored to their vision. I’ve also become more conscious of steering questions that I may have about the play in this direction.
The Lab has produced some pretty great plays. Looking over them, do any stand out to you and why do you pick those particular plays? [You can see all the plays if you go to sohorep.org and click on the Lab button at the top and browse thru the various years.]
TNG: 4000 Miles. This play originally stood out to me because I am and have always been intrigued by one-sided love and love that exists between grandparents and their grandchildren. Two people in such different places in their lives who don’t always have much time to both get to know one another.
Le Jeté will be read as the conclusion of the 2016 Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab Reading Series on Monday May 16th. It’s first-come-first-served. 7pm. The house will open at 6:45pm. Please join us!