Article Written by Stephen Bell – Marketing/Development @coffeescreative
At Coffeeshop Creative we are not only passionate about designing and developing a unique web presence for our clients, but also sharing their stories. We are super excited to share another story in our series of blogs – Grabbing Coffee. Today’s feature – the talented and creative American stage director Shawna Lucey. As we are designing the upcoming launch of her custom website, we recently caught up with Shawna for a virtual coffee, using everyone’s favourite meet up, Skype. So grab your favourite cup of java and get to know a little about this exciting & inspiring operatic stage director.
Pirates of Penzance- Skylight Theatre
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am originally from Houston, TX but am based in New York City. A number of years ago I decided to pursue my masters degree in directing at a Russian Theater institute (I am not Russian) – and spent 5 years living and working in Moscow. I didn’t speak Russian when I moved there but I sure do now! I also worked with the famous Bread and Puppet Theater for a number of years, which in combination with my time at the Schukin Theater Institute and the Moscow Art Theater shapes my theater making and political outlook.
The Gogol Project- Borough of Manhattan Community College Theatre
What are some of your directorial influences?
Russia has an incredible theater scene that most of us in the West don’t get to experience. The work of Fomenko, Serebnikov, Dodin, The Formalny Theater – these are just a few of the names of the great directors and artists working in Russia today. I am also lucky to be close to the founders of Modern Times Theater and Vermont Vaudeville.
I also have a love of the art of puppetry, and have worked extensively with The Bread and Puppet Theater, as both a touring performer and staff member. This unique experience enabled me to work and develop this special skill on a 6 week tour of the Southern States, preforming for thousands of audience members in both the United States and abroad, running both puppetry workshops and also performances.
San Fransisco Opera- Tosca Artist/Stage Concept Rendering
In opera, it’s crucial to create a fresh perspective to every production, what do you find is key to bring new life to a seasoned production?
I think the key is feminism. In opera we have this incredible repertoire handed to us that people have presented for decades or centuries. But it’s imperative that we create art for today’s communities. Feminism is key to reexamining long-accepted power dynamics both within the core rep as well as in the influences producing these pieces. That shift in perspective demands a powerful change in our assumptions about these pieces that can only highlight and strengthen the stories themselves. A feminist viewpoint for staging an opera makes every story richer and as complex as the music composed for these great operas.
Die Walküre- Santa Fe Opera
What lies ahead for you in the 2018/19 directing season?
I am about to open Italian Girl at The Santa Fe Opera (see feminist reexamining of core rep above) and begin rehearsals for a brand new Tosca at The San Francisco Opera next month! I am a lucky lady to work with such great female heroines!
And…most importantly, favorite type or style of coffee?
I LOVE coffee! Truly! My favorite is a cappuccino (or 3!)