What a weekend! More than a weekend, four 12-hour days jam-packed with information, camaraderie, silliness, passion, 30-some directors aged from 20s to 60s, from those who direct from texts by dead white guys to devise their scripts in-the-moment and everyone in between.
And yes, we did braid each others’ hair. But so much else happened first!
I’m talking about Directors Lab North last weekend in Toronto. It’s an offshoot of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, founded by three Toronto directors who met not in the Toronto theater scene, but in the NYC Lab.
Each of our personal styles – participants, founders, presenters – was as different as our directing styles and experience(s). Some folks knew each other from Lab experiences (Toronto, Chicago, L.A., New York), others from the Toronto theater scene, but all of us “strangers” were made welcome and comfy, each necessary to the mix.
I’m not terrific with names, so I made notes on my contact sheet, one or two words like “feather” and “Miller/Shakes” and “pregnant” and “Wyoming” (you know who you are), not because anyone was anything like anyone else, but because I didn’t want to waste a moment not knowing a face’s name, didn’t want the little awkwardness that intrudes when someone is disappointed. And I, in turn, was not disappointed, not at all, not by anyone there.
In posts to come, I’ll write about the founders (Evan, Esther, Elif) and associates (Andrea, Andrew), the schedule (both grueling and exhilarating), the participants, workshops, guests, meals, and party.
But right now, what I must say is, thank you Toronto, thank you directors, thank you each relationship forged and group who welcomed even as we were forming. I look forward to future collaborations, to seeing and hearing about your work and your amazing selves, and sharing it all all all.