Sharing my speech for the Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Awards ceremony where I was honored with the Milton Katselas Award for Career Achievement in Direction.
This is such a special year to be receiving this award, it’s far from business as usual in Los Angeles Theatre. There’s been a lot of discussion about why we do this. Tonight I’d like to affirm to you, my community, why I do this.
For a period of my life I got lost in doing what I thought I should be doing. What I thought I should be doing as a storyteller living in Los Angeles, rather than what I felt compelled to do.
Thankfully, I got some good advice along the way, which amounted to: Know thyself.
And my salvation has been finding my way back to my first love, where I have clocked my 10,000 hours, where I find deep connection and meaningful collaboration: the theatre.
I’m working right now at the Fountain, rehearsing Lauren Gunderson’s I AND YOU, which is about our supreme and profound connection to each other, and about how recognizing this connection, becoming conscious of it, is perhaps the point of our existence. My last project, A DELICATE BALANCE, honored here tonight, is equally about connection: the consequences of not connecting, the consequences of not being able to quiet the isolating voice of the ego, and give in to the arms of connection. Up next, is UNCLE VANYA, back at Antaeus, and my rendition will explore the longing around severed connection.
I’m on a connection kick. And I am grateful to my Los Angeles theatre community for being the people, the artists, I get to connect with through our art.
My work that’s being celebrated here tonight has two things in common. One, it was created for an intimate theatre, and two, it was created in close collaboration with some of the best actors in the world.
I am grateful to the producers I’ve worked with who’ve had the tenacity and vision to bring daring plays to venues where audiences can almost feel the breath of the actors.
And I am deeply grateful to the actors I’ve worked with. Let me repeat: they are some of the most gifted actors in the world. Actors who perform their magic across any medium: the big screen, the small screen, and perhaps the most challenging, the stage. Los Angeles theatre actors, you are true artists. Respect.
I am grateful also to the critics in the room, yes, for this honor, thank you, but thank you also for being our champion, for being our voice, for connecting us, to each other, and the world.
This honor, for me, tonight is about having an even stronger connection to this community, and it is also about summoning my own courage to connect with new theatres and their communities throughout Los Angeles and the nation. This honor is both inspiration and affirmation regarding what lies ahead for me.
Connecting takes courage and continuing to stoke that courage, through our art, is our greatest collective gift.