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Meet the Directors’ Studio
In an effort to continue its vision to provide a training ground for the next generation of theatre artists, the Shakespeare Theatre Company has launched its first-ever Directors’ Studio, a series of workshops and discussions designed to investigate the craft of theatrical direction created for local, early-career directors. By application, six directors have been selected for the 2015–2016 season’s Directors’ Studio: Catrin Rowenna Davies, Rick Hammerly, Lee Liebeskind, Carter Lowe, Angela Kay Pirko, and Jason Schlafstein.
As these directors collaborate with one another, they will also meet and learn from local and international directors and participate in an evolving dialogue about directing classic works. To kick-start this dialogue, not only among the Directors’ Studio, but between STC, the Directors’ Studio, and the community, we interviewed each of the participants. Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing these interviews, so you can meet and learn about each of our Directors’ Studio members and start participating in this dialogue with us.
Now, without further ado, meet Directors’ Studio participant Carter Lowe.
An Interview with Carter Lowe
What do you hope to learn from the Directors’ Studio?
It’s a blessing to be exposed to the wide world of STC and all of the various artists that work on a production to make a show happen. It’s helping me further understand the holistic process of play-making and the director’s role in that. I hope to continue furthering my knowledge of classical theatre specifically in 2016.
What got you started in the arts?
I was in show choir in high school, and like many American theatre artists, musicals were my gateway drug. I started out as a performer but realized about the end of my freshman year that I just didn’t find enough joy in inhabiting a character to make it into a career. So I thought, “Oh, what else can I do in theatre?” and I started barreling through directing books—the old ones, like Clurman and Brook, but some great newer ones, like Bloom or Mitchell. I learned that I love leading a group of people and getting them together to solve a problem artistically, throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
What’s your dream show to direct?
Hamilton. No, I’m kidding. There’s probably a list of twenty or so contemporary musicals, but I actually saw a production of Jesus Christ Superstar and thought, “Man, I would direct the crap out of that show.” My dad worked as a pastor, and the thing that got him re-interested in the church after college (I’m not making this up) was seeing the 1973 film adaptation of the show. So I often feel like my working in the arts has something to do with that.
Who’s your favorite director? What do you admire about their work?
There are so many directors I admire, but I’d say right now I’m just on the side of unhealthily obsessed with Sam Gold, the director of Fun Home and a lot of Annie Baker’s plays. His attention to detail and obsession with the minute nuances in world building, especially in sets, is really remarkable and something I want to emulate.
Carter Lowe is a graduate of American University’s Department of Performing Arts, where he directed Time Stands Still, Let There Be Heartbreak and The Waiting Womb. Recent assistant directing credits include Cleave (Will Davis, Kennedy Center Directing Intensive), Nero/Pseudo (Patrick Pearson, WSC Avant Bard) and the world premiere of The Widow Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre.