Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obsession: Katie Mitchell

I've been low-grade obsessed with UK director Katie Mitchell since this fall. The Guardian has a great interview with her today. (Read it, you'll love it.)

Notable for the big conversations happening in the theatreblogosandbox:
Do you suffer for your art?

No. It is a source of great joy for me, and I still pinch myself that people pay me to do it.

Career: Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as a director in 1998. Is now an associate director at the National Theatre, London (020-7452 3000), where her production of ...Some Trace of Her opens on July 30.

High point: "I don't do highs and lows. Theatre is hard graft, and I try to maintain a steady equilibrium."

Notable just because:

What's the best advice you've had?

A Russian woman called Professor Soloviova once saw a hit show of mine and said: "It looks very beautiful, but there's absolutely nothing going on between the actors." It set me up to ensure that was never the case again.

Quick anecdote:
I went on a Kurosawa and sushi date with an old friend this weekend. After the movie we started talking about how we're both devoted to oddballs like David Lynch and Akira Kurosawa, but I've never liked anything by Stanley Kubrick or Alfred Hitchcock. (I know, right?) I appreciate them as genius artists, but I find their films pretty boring. Anyway, I think my Kubrick/Hitchcock ambivalence is mostly about this feeling I get that neither of them care about their actors. Ms. Mitchell's quote made me think of that conversation, and how live performance can fall into a similar trap of looking great but feeling pretty empty.

Oh, and, bonus, Mitchell's Waves is coming to Lincoln Center this fall. See you there!

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