passion + vision + imagination

Elektra with bucket

Live Theatre Matters. Theatre is a holy ritual, creating a conduit to the deepest parts of our humanity. It can also serve as a political tool, an educational forum, an intellectual debate, a prayer to the gods, a way to foster community, or a source of pure entertainment. It can activate and open our hearts and minds. In a world where there is so much violence, instability, disenfranchisement, and true desperation, the theatre offers a place where we can gather together, as we have for thousands of years, to connect with one another and encounter a story. Storytelling satisfies a basic human desire because it helps us imagine the past, present, and future, for better or for worse. It allows us to flex our perception, imagination, and empathy, individually and collectively, which we need now more than ever. The narrative we see on stage influences the way we view ourselves.

As a director, I strive to create a transformative experience for the actors and the designers involved in the production, as well as for audience members who encounter our work in the theatre. I often include movement and live music in my productions, as well as provocative visual design elements. My work engages a very direct actor/audience connection and usually does so without the fourth wall. I demand a high level of skill from the actors, who need to be versed in both emotional and physical storytelling, and to be committed to the ensemble in an extraordinary way. I am interested in immense stories told in theatrical terms and in a kind of diversity that is rare in the American theatre.

I particularly enjoyed traveling to Poland in late 2014 to a festival in Krakow, where I witnessed the most engaged theatre audiences I have ever seen. A five-hour drama was greeted with total enthusiasm!

I believe that live theatre matters and that when a group of people collaborate effectively, the results can be life altering.

Thanks for visiting my website and don’t hesitate to contact me!

— Monica Payne