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“Supportive, insightful and rigorous”: David F. Chapman

Our inquiry and interview series with this year’s Writer/Director Lab participants continues with the director David F. Chapman.

Space is the place: director/astronaut David F. Chapman

1) Briefly tell us about your thinking on REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY.
REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY is unlike any play I’ve ever read or worked on.  The subtitle is (a mystery play) and that captures it well. The story centers on an artist named Calvin, his girlfriend, his mother and his father.  But really (really really…) it’s about the difference between how we remember and how we document (a person, an event, a relationship…).

2) What part of the Writer/Director Lab process was the most instructive and entertaining and how are the directors utilized during the process?
Most entertaining?   Ken and Jenny’s welcome speeches at the readings (perhaps that’s most instructive too). Even though we are put in our writer/director pairs at the beginning of the year, in a sense all ten of us are working together. So to that end, it’s been really instructive to see inside several different writers’ individual creative processes. Midway through the year, each director staged a section of the script-in-progress with actors and a few rehearsals, to help the writer gain a sense of how the play feels in time and space.  That was really fun – sort of a trial run for the spring reading series.

3) How do you think the Lab will influence your future work?
Well, first off, I hope to continue collaborating in some form with the nine terrific people I shared the year with. I’ve also learned a lot from watching Ken and Jenny lead the Lab — always supportive, insightful, rigorous but still with a sense of humor.  That’s a great way to approach pretty much anything.

4) Do you have any advice for emerging young freelance directors?
Um, keep applying to the Lab!

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