The 5th Anniversary Directors Salon

 Directors Salon was created to inspire and assist emerging stage directors in their careers. Throughout the 5th Anniversary of the Salon in 2015, directors were given the opportunity to work, network, hear from leaders in the field and join a community of both emerging and established directors.

Every year we invite some of New York’s busiest directors to take a break from rehearsal and share their experiences with us. In 2015, we heard from Rachel Chavkin, Alec Duffy, and Daniel Jaquez about creating your own opportunities as directors.

For the first time, the Directors Salon hosted an “Alumni Night” and invited back past Directors Salon participants to show 20 minute excerpts of Director-Driven work that they are working on. In 2015, the participants were Lillian Meredith, Shana Solomon, Daniela Thome, Illana Stein, Emerie Syder, and Dina Vovsi, with special musical guest ANNA/KATE.

One of the most exciting parts of the Salon is our night of director-driven work. We put out a call for submissions and we choose three projects to receive rehearsal space, resources, support, and a public presentation. The evening ends with a talkback with all the artists, so you can be a part of the process. In 2015 the participants included Emma Weinstein, Jerry Ruiz, and John Michael DiResta.

Come My Beloved

written and directed by Emma Weinstein
Come My Beloved is an exploration of Black and Jewish romantic relationships from the 1930’s to now. Using found text, personal stories and the work of scholars, activists and academics, the piece looks at intimate and familial love as a way of understanding how race has both separated and united us over time. Three real couples make up the core of the collage: Sophie and Solomon (Detroit, 1932), Noah and Susan (San Francisco, 1972), and Maya and Julia (Bushwick, 2012).

Emma Weinstein

Jerry Ruiz

El Hoyo

written and directed by Jerry Ruiz
conceived by Stephanie Ybarra
inspired by the short stories of Mario Suarez
EL HOYO is an adaptation of the short stories of seminal Chicano author Mario Suarez, one of the first Chicano authors to be published in the 1950s. His stories chronicle life in the hard scrabble Tucson barrio nicknamed “El Hoyo” (or “The Hole”) by its inhabitants. EL HOYO focuses on two pillars of the community, barber shop owner Señor Garza and boarding house proprietor Doña Clara, both of whom mentor and guide the younger people in the neighborhood as they struggle to find, and define, themselves. The adaptation project was conceived by and developed with collaborator Stephanie Ybarra, a descendant of Mario Suarez.

John Michael DiResta

Blood on the Tracks

conceived and directed by John Michael DiResta
A man falls in love with a woman. He steals her from her much older husband. They escape on the road to discover America. It all goes to shit. He tries to win her back. He may or may not succeed. You’ve heard this story before, which is why it’s worth hearing again.”Blood on the Tracks” employs a common approach to adaptation: it looks at a tale that has multiple sources and synthesizes the story’s divergent branches into one performance piece. The material, though, is unusual in that it isn’t a legend or history or biblical; instead, it is a single song: Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue.” “Blood on the Tracks,” a theater piece that shares its name with Dylan’s masterpiece album, merges the hundreds of versions of “Tangled Up In Blue” that Bob Dylan has performed since its debut in the 1970s each of which tells a slightly (or sometimes majorly) different tale – into one narrative that synthesizes the emotional story of the varied iterations.

The culmination of the Salon week is the night of brand new plays by some of the hottest playwrights in New York, and all the directors are chosen out of a hat at the Kick-Off Party! The Hat Directors in 2015 were Anouk Kemp, Nilan Johnson, Claire Beckman, Alex Mallory, Christopher James Weihert, Jeremy Karafin, and Nathaniel P. Claridad.
The commissioned playwrights were asked to write a brand new 10-20 minute play based on the prompt “To Serve and Protect”. The playwrights for the 5th Directors Salon were Dennis A. Allen II, J. Julian Christopher, Kevin R. Free, Martyna Majok, Don Nguyen, Jiehae Park, and Riti Sachdeva.