I believe that the theatre helps create a world where people are generous with their presence, their emotions and their intellect. Through our work, we encourage others to be brave with each other emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually, by leading (as best we can) by example.
When I approach a play, as an actor or a director, I try my best to figure out what the play is asking. What is the text trying to understand? What is it exploring? What is it asking of me, of the theatre, and of its audience? And what does it want? I think that it is our job as theatre artists to try our very best to figure out and rise to what the play wants, rather than bring it down to our level. Every artist will, of course, disagree on what the play wants, which is where the fun and (mostly) chaos begin. By some miracle, it gets done, the play gets put up, and then it’s all gone. I find something very profound about all that rehearsal, all that specificity and thought being put into an experience, into something that cannot be packaged and taken home. You have to be there to experience it.
I have found that my favorite plays tap into the complexity of the fundamental. I believe that the best plays ask the most simple questions about life, which are, of course, the most difficult to answer. If through performance, we have managed to unpack something, to make a single person feel a little more alike to everyone else in the room, less alone in his/her human experience, I believe we have given back to our community. I cannot think of anything more fulfilling than taking part in one of the few art forms that demands we be in a room, together, right now, trying our very hardest to figure it all out.