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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bold Simplicity

  • Author(s): Hayes, Kristin Michelle
  • Advisor(s): Burrett, Alan
  • et al.

I believe our primary job as theatre artists is as storytellers. Light is a living, breathing medium to me. It has energy and a sculptural quality that can carve a performer out of darkness and tell a story through simple brush strokes. Even the most abstract dance piece has a story, a thought, a pulse behind it that can be brought to life by light. Even complicated plays can be condensed down to their essence. The Dybbuk: a tragic love story. Titus Andronicus: a tale of ever mounting revenge. The Fantasy Project: an exploration in camel.

During my graduate studies, I have been refining this idea and have discovered that I feel at my best as an artist when I make bold, simple choices. When I trust my intuition, and allow the energy of the rehearsal room to fill and inspire me. When I give my fellow collaborators the freedom to make new choices and have new discoveries, from the rehearsal process and continuing on through technical rehearsals and performances. I prefer to write one really great cue that carves space out of light and allow the actors to move in and out of it, rather than try to follow their every movement. I think of the timing like breaths, sometimes quick and dramatic, sometimes a long exhale, barely perceptible. I carry the essence of the story with me, and allow it to unfold naturally, simply, boldly.

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