Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spotlight On...Aimiee Todoroff

Name: Aimee Todoroff

Hometown: Dayton, OH

Education: MFA Southampton Arts

Favorite Credits: Rabbit Island, Brecht in the Park

Why theater?: I truly believe that theatre is the most effective way to change the world. When an audience engages with an actor or ensemble onstage, we immediately gain empathy, learn to look at an issue or problem from multiple sides and we expand our perceived communities from an insular circle to one that encompasses a larger humanity. Theatre makes better people.

What inspired you to direct?: I've always loved theatre as a cohesive art form- one that encompasses sculpture, painting, dance, music, poetry and prose. Like most people, I came to theatre as a performer, though I always focused more on the overall story than I did on my particular character. Pretty quickly, a teacher noticed that when I asked questions, they were "big picture" questions, and he suggested I think about directing.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: My favorite theatre acknowledges the inherent theatricality within the art form, as opposed to being perfectly naturalistic. Anything that plays with the relationship between the actor and audience is really exciting to me, especially if the theatrical experience can create subtle physical changes in the audience or make the audience complicit in the theatrical act. One of the reasons mask work or puppets can be so engaging is because there is a sense of danger (yes, puppets can be dangerous!) that comes from the collective act of bringing something to life. If the puppet masters are really good, the puppet has a life of it's own but the audience senses on some level that if one person slips, or the timing is a tiny bit off, the illusion will be broken and the puppet will "die." I love theatre that creates that same sense of danger to the stage with text, movement and emotional resonance.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Peter Brook

What show have you recommended to your friends?: When We Were Young and Unafraid by Sarah Treem. It's smart writing about an important struggle in our history, one women are still fighting, told in a way that is surprising, humorous and human, plus an incredible performance by Cherry Jones!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Amy Poehler in a brunette wig, and the movie would be called "It's Natural!"

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Binge watching "The Walking Dead" and "American Horror Story" when my partner is out of town.

What’s the most played song on your iPod?: Right now, technically it's a sound effect- but after that, "Cube Libra" by DeVotchKa, also show related

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Probably a therapist or grief counselor. I recently experienced a death in my family, and I was so grateful for the teams of people who's job it is to help families with that transition, from the people at the funeral home who basically pull together personalized productions for each familty to the woman who made picking out the headstone a healing experience. Basically, I'd be living in Six Feet Under. I think I'd like that.

What’s up next?: The Vast Mystery of Who You Are by Kim Yaged at Judson Memorial's Magic Time, Oct. 15th, and then La Tempistad, a retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest in the Playing with Canons series at The Treehouse Theatre!

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