The 2004 Lab brought together a wide mixture of investigations of interest to the Lab's 75 directors. These ranged from a look back at the work of previous Labs, a week devoted to understanding Greek theater, a week devoted to symbolist drama, adaptations and devised work. In addition, the July dates of the Lab allowed directors to have sessions with artists whose work was in the LCT Festival. Simon McBurney and Kazuyoshi Kushida spoke to the directors, who were then invited to watch rehearsals of THE ELEPHANT VANISHES and the Kabuki "HEISEI NAKAMURA-ZA."
2004 marked the tenth anniversary of the Lab, and to celebrate, the approximately 90 incoming directors began by investigating the past nine Labs. As part of their research, 2004 Lab members contacted directors who had taken part in the previous Labs as well as the master artists who came in as guests and documented the most creative activities and challenging rehearsal explorations that the Lab had undertaken.
The 2004 Lab also looked at ancient Greek drama using PROMETHEUS BOUND as a base text. Actors performed the lead roles and Lab directors were enlisted to play the chorus. Six different conceptualizations of the play were presented at the end of the week.
To supplement the work of the six PROMETHEUS BOUND companies, the Lab invited directors Julie Taymor and Daniel Fish to the Lab to discuss their experiences staging ancient Greek plays. Director Jo Bonney came in to talk about her hip-hop rendition of THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES. Sessions were held with Peter Meineck (professor of the classics at NYU and Artistic Director of Aquila Theatre Company), and Charles Beye from CUNY, an expert on Greek drama. John Conklin displayed his scenic designs for Greek drama and talked about how it had been in the past.
During the second week, directors conducted an investigation of archetypal or symbolist drama. Five teams-each comprised of a director, an actor, and a designer-worked on Chekhov's THE SEAGULL, specifically the play-within-the-play written by the character Konstantin Treplev. Lab directors looked at five interpretations of Konstantin's monologue to determine for themselves whether his play was "good" or "bad" and to see how the monologue could be interpreted in different ways.
Directors examined symbolist drama from the director's perspective as well as from the point of view of the actor and designer. Professor and author Laurence Senelick led a conversation devoted to scenic designer, producer, and actor Edward Gordon Craig. Eleanor Duse, one of the genre's well-known leading ladies, was the focus of a discussion led by Helen Sheehy who has written a biography of the actress.
Members of the Lab also rehearsed THE SNOWSTORM, a play by Marina Tsvetaeva, an early-20th-century Russian poet and author of non-representational plays.
The final week of the 2004 Lab focused on the creation of new work for the stage using material from other mediums. Directors conducted a series of rehearsals to create stage adaptations of short stories by Jennifer Egan. Ms. Egan was invited to the Lab to watch presentations of the plays based on her stories.
Also during the third week, all Lab members collaborated on COMMON GROUND, a "found" theater piece using self-generated texts created in the manner that Moisés Kaufman, Anna Deavere Smith, and Emily Mann have utilized for their work. Directors working on this project asked everybody in the Lab a series of questions. Lab participants responded to the questions, writing down their replies, and that became the text for COMMON GROUND.
Adyanthaya, Aravind Enrique
Bolden, Keith Arthur
Cusick, William J.
Daniel, Gregg T.
Duke, Heidi Lauren
Fixel , Taryn
Gould , Hazel
Hethorn, S. Caden
Lee , Hope
Stanley, J. Daniel
Lab Master Artists
Joseph V. Melillo
Chomet, Sun Mee
Crane, Michael Patrick
Noland, Katherine Hampton
Lab Director: Anne Cattaneo
Lab Coordinator: Janet Takami
Lab Assistant: Jill MacLean
Esther Pan: Chinese Theater Techniques and the Western Actor
Peter Menieck: Prometheus and The Polis
Daniel Fish: An Antigone in Development
Charles Beye: Prometheus Bound: How to Understand the Original Text Now and In Its Time
John Conklin: Thinking About Greek Drama
John Conklin: Thinking About the play in The Seagull
Jo Bonney: The Seven
Graciela Daniele: Directing Marie Christine
Rubén Polendo: Theater Mitu demonstration
Laurence Senelick on Gordon Craig
Helen Sheehy on Eleanora Duse
Mark Lamos: Changing Fashions in Directing
Kazuyoshi Kushida: Heisei Nakamura-Za
Erin Mee: Using Indian Theater Techniques in Your Own Work
Incorporating Chinese Theater Techniques into Western Theater: The Orphan of Zhao
Simon McBurney on his Theater Work
Joseph V. Melillo, Richard Maxwell, David Herskovits, and Marc Russell: Experimental Theater: Where is it now?
Jason Moore: Directing Avenue Q
Daniel Swee and Evan Yionoulis: How a director and casting director find actors for a project
Susan Stroman (Hosted by Elizabeth Margolius)
Theodora Skipitares: Videos & Hands-on Puppet Workshop
Julie Taymor on her work
Olivia Honegger: Directors/Artistic Directors: The Challenges of Working in Both
Ed Elefterion on Biomechanics
Plays Explored in the Lab
PROMETHEUS BOUND by Aeschylus; PROMETHEUS BOUND projects directed by Braden Abraham, Gregg Daniel, Eiji Mihara, Alan Muraoka, Elaine Molinaro, Hazel Gould
THE SEAGULL by Anton Chekhov; Nina Monologue projects directed by Julianene Ehre, Anthony Gabriele, JV Mercanti, Eriko Ogawa, Handan Ozbilgin
THE SNOWSTORM by Marina Tsvetaeva; Translated by Marilyn Smith; Directed by Maryna Harrison
Adaptation project: Jennifer Egan Stories from Emerald City
WATCH TRICK; Directed by Cosmin Chivu
THE STYLIST; Directed by Kelly Taffe
EMERALD CITY; Directed by Martin Daraz