Anna was invited back by Anne Bogart to participate in Collab 2 again this year, pairing her with the multitalented dramaturg (class of 2021) Cha Ramos. Acting as dramaturg on this project was Devon Kidd (playwriting 2021).
This piece "BODIES" was about the different ways we respond to seeing the same text come out of different bodies. To heighten this effect, we created a false callback environment, where all performers learned the same blocking and unified their emotional responses. A unique challenge! Then watching the scene unfold, as it becomes violent, the inner thoughts of the casting director were projected behind the actors. Casting can be an inhuman process- these words + this body = ____. In the end David Henry Hwang and Anne Bogart were very pleased. Great collaboration overall.
Paola Soto (Columbia Playwriting class of 2020) asked Anna to direct her second year full-length production of her coming of age female wrestling story:
LUCHA LIBRE. Started as an assignment for Lynn Nottage, Paola expanded her story to show the uphill battle a young woman from the DR must tread in order to become a wrestling star. Anna & Paola share a hispanic background and were able to communicate with actors in Spanish about cultural understandings of machismo and fear of "la chancla." With the addition of Rebekah Carrow as fight choreographer, LUCHA LIBRE made a great night of theatre to enjoy Paola's excellent work. This was the first ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR CAST Anna has worked with.
Produced by Sean Anthony Chia
Supervised by Lynn Nottage
In exploring Chekhov this semester guided by Brian Kulick, we each selected a full length Chekhov production to put up in Schapiro Theatres.
Having reread them all over the summer, I knew that Vanya was mine; this story of how, or if, we cope when we learn it’s too late for us to switch into a better life.
And the resentment that eats us slowly when our world favors another, more “refined”, version of ourselves.
The professor is easy to hate, but he doesn’t mind it.
Yelena is wistfully destructive without harnessing any power from it.
Sonya is ferried into simple housework when she’s the most capable person in the house.
Vanya stumbles on his own ineptitude and lurches for relief towards women, drink, & fighting.
Astrov cultivates dirt, trees, but not himself.
These glaring misappropriations of time spent, whole decades full, and all the missed chances for love, is what chronicles our lives at the end. I had the pleasure of working with some of the finest actors and the finest team I have yet encountered in New York City on this production.
Pictured here from left to right:
Jane Ives as Mrs. Voinítsky* courtesy of AEA
Benjamin Dworken as Yefím
Isaac Beauchamp as Ástrov
Roger Lipson as Ványa* courtesy of AEA
Jonathan Dauerman as Waffles
Dolly Lewis as Yeléna
Rora Brodwin as Sónya
This photo was taken after our last final for Brian Kulick. He's on the right-
and my cohort, from left to right are:
This image best describes my final for Anne Bogart's directing class this semester. I chose Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyeevsky for my "Chestnut" (meaning, a foundational work most are familiar with - a landmark piece of text). Inside the mind of Raskolnikov is a dangerous blizzard of ideas. He vacillates between a noble urge to kill and the lust for destruction. I adapted the first section of the book into a 4 part scene. culminating in him having the revelation that, yes, he is divinely lead to kill.
In my first semester I hosted a short play festival for the first year directors and playwrights in the program to explore their collaborative processes together. The Mashup had a feedback session all writers were required to attend, along with directors to read aloud and receive feedback on their 10 minute plays. The notes were then folded into their second drafts and performed in Nash Studios to a packed house.