Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spotlight On...Katie McHugh

Name: Katie McHugh

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida

Education: Undergrad at Florida State University (BA in Theatre) Graduate School, The New School for Drama (MFA in directing)

Favorite Credits: The Dream Project (A five-year international project), The List (Fringe NYC 2012- winner of Overall Excellence in a Solo Performance and Critic’s pick, Time Out Magazine, also performed 2013 at Fringe San Miguel in Mexico and Medea (The New School, Thesis production).

Why theater?: I am interested in many fields of study, science, math, medicine, architecture, archeology, and most of all history. Theatre allows me to be an artist and work in all these fields at the same time. It is the only profession in which time travel is indeed possible, where there are no limits to what one can accomplish. Theatre satisfies every ounce of my curious artistic nature.

Tell us about The House on Poe Street?: Gothic ghosts encounter modern monstrosities when twin sisters inherit the house where Poe is reputed to have composed The Raven. In The House on Poe Street a wealthy estate lawyer learns to appreciate Poe’s dark twisted spirit while questioning his own presumptions of wealth, gender parity and the power of poetry to conjure visions of a spectral afterlife.

What inspired you to create The House on Poe Street?: Fengar's work is both political and fantastical, stylized and fun with a potent message. House on Poe Street takes everything I like in a good play to the next level, a fun sci-fi ghost story encompassing a smattering of Poe's Macabre tales. A true quest of feminism that makes us laugh at the same time. 

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Any story with a strong message or interesting twist. I’m not into kitchen sink drama, but rather, theatre of the absurd, abstract, or bizarre, some of my favorite playwrights, in no particular order are Beckett, Charles Mi, Mark Schultz, Sartre, Gertrude Stein, Caryl Churchill, and our beloved Bard. The world around me! The people in my life, fellow collaborators and artists, conversations with strangers, and the brilliant minds of our youth. I am also highly influenced by movement and dance. My background is classical ballet which translates to my directorial vision through use of space.  Vertical space excites me and I find a way to use it in every production, whether it is climbing and choreographing in the air, or extending the set vertically, I strive to use 360 degrees of theatrical space. Ensemble and movement based techniques have strong influence in my work to name a few: Overlie’s and Bogart’s Viewpoints, the work of Frantic Assembly, and Williamson technique.

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

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  Frantic Assembly’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:  This is a fun one.  Tina Fey, and it would be a comedy called Huzzah!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Julie’s Midsummer.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Binge watching any good sci-fi show.  Right now it’s Orphan Black.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be ______?: An obstetrician or family doctor like my mother and father. I’ve always loved medicine and science.

What’s up next?: The Dream Project, Phase 1.5, March 2018, NYC. The Dream Project is a collaboration between North American artists from Mexico, United States and Canada. Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is deconstructed and reinvented into an immersive, experimental, multilingual and multidisciplinary piece. With original dance and music, Spanish, French and English text, aerial choreography, and multimedia design, The Dream Project encompasses the most compelling art forms of North American culture.  If you’re interested and want to know more about Dream Project, you can see exceprts of it at The Dream Party, Shetler Studios and Theatres Penthouse One, Saturday, December 2nd 6:00 pm.