Practice

Katie’s casting in “Pirates of the Red Skull”, a play she penned, produced by PDX Playwrights, Portland, OR

A Note from Katie on her Creative Practice:

In my practice as a director and writer, I seek: 1) To bring forward lost or underproduced theatrical work which has been ignored by the canon of literature 2) To create characters and recruit actors with a commitment to cultural awareness,  3) To make adjustments to the gender of characters in a script when allowable, and 4) To promote racial inclusivity.

Below are examples of four productions which I directed or devised in which I made efforts to foster diversity:

1) The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare. Treasure Valley Community College, Ontario, Oregon. Ontario is a former site of a Japanese relocation camp, and there is a large population of Asian Americans there, as well as Hispanic, Basque and Native American people. I chose to represent the variety of people and historic traditions in the area by way of casting, approach and scenery design, setting it in Ontario in the Wild West.

Click here to watch the clip

The Comedy of Error’s in-the-round floor design reflecting the rivalry between Idaho and Oregon, where I reset the story’s war.

Click on the photo to view a scene in which Luciana, re-envisioned as an indigenous character, is played by a BIPOC actor.

 

 

Below: Cross-gender acting by a male actor playing  Nell in the guise of a Geisha in pursuit of Dromio, played by a BIPOC actor.  Right: Asian influence was emphasized in Ontario, which is is the former site of a Japanese relocation camp. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: The character of Adriana as an indigenous war bride, played by a BIPOC actor. Below: The Duke in the story was reworked as a female sheriff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Temporal Powers by Teresa Deevy, Linfield University, McMinnville, Oregon.  Deevy was a deaf Irish playwright whose early work was performed at the famed Abby Theatre established by William Butler Yeats, but her contributions have been largely ignored by the canon. I was the director of the West Coast premiere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Treasure Valley Community College.

Left: Mercutio and Benvolio, written as men in Shakespeare’s text and re-envisioned here as female characters. Mercutio, in pink, was played by a BIPOC actor.  Right: Juliet and Romeo, also a BIPOC actor.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Tybalt and Mercutio.  Below:   Female actors cross-acting as men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Transformations by Anne Sexton, a devised production. The University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.  Sponsored by Women’s Studies.

This was a graduate acting project which I also directed. In it, I used the poetry of Anne Sexton to devise a production with actors and a live musician who remained on stage. Transformations consists of a psychological exploration of trauma inspired by Grimms.

Left:  The sexually abused Briar Rose in “Sleeping Beauty” is approached by the Prince,  cross-acted by a female actor in a mask. Right: The Witch in glasses wraps her possessive blanket around the captive Rapunzel, who is played by a BIPOC actor.