Showing posts from June, 2019

The Author Is Dead

Director Andrea Humez (right) leads a talkback session at Theatre@First.  by Andrea Humez “The author is dead,” I joke to the actors, acknowledging the playwright who is, in fact, sitting in the room with us.  “So you’ll have to make your own interpretation of the text.” More than most authors, playwrights have to make peace with the fact that once they’ve written a piece, other people will interpret it in their own ways. Plays are written to be performed, and putting on a play inherently involves layers of interpretation: by the director, by the various actors, by the designers (in the case of a fully-staged production), as well as by the audience. Usually, when I direct, I try to balance between encouraging the actors to make their own interpretations of the text and asking them to go along with mine.  This process is founded on the assumption that we don’t know exactly what the playwright’s intention was, and in some sense, we don’t care, because interpreting the