Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spotlight On...Taylor Haven Holt

Name: Taylor Haven Holt

Hometown: Lincroft, New Jersey

Education: NYU times two. BA in Dramatic Literature and MA in Irish and Irish-American Studies.

Favorite Credits: As director: John C. Russell’s Stupid Kids with Reckless Theatre Group. As assistant director: last year’s site-specific London production of Boy George’s Taboo.

Why theater?: I was a dancer for my entire childhood and always aspired to be in the ensemble of big Broadway musicals. I was fortunate enough to have parents that loved the city, and we visited almost every weekend to see musicals galore. It wasn’t until moving here for college that I started directing, actually through my work as a choreographer. I love the community that theatre creates; theatre bonds people in a way that I think is strange and amazing and unlike anything else in the world.

Tell us about (un)real?: (un)real is a fascinating piece that questions the reality that we perceive versus the reality that exists. At its core, the play is about a young woman who has a break with reality after the sudden death of her mother.  I’m really lucky to have bribed a lot of brilliant people to both act in and design this beautiful play, and I’m very excited to share it with the world.

What inspired you to direct (un)real?: I first met Elizabeth Lee, the playwright, when we were paired together in a class as part of her MFA program at NYU. She was in the beginning of conceptualizing this play, so it’s been a journey for both of us discovering what the play is and what it’s not. It continues to be a great collaboration - it doesn’t hurt that we’re neighbors either!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Because I’m originally from the dance world, musicals and movement based pieces are where I thrive. I love collaborating on new works, and have a penchant for darkly humorous or quirky plays. I’d love to do more devised pieces; get talented folk into a room and anything is possible. 

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
Conor McPherson. I think he’s brilliant.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Lion King! So many of my friends still have not seen it, even though it feels as if it’s been around forever. It was my first professional job in the city, and holds a very special place in my heart (and is simply a breathtaking theatrical event).

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Let’s go with Marisa Tomei. And the title would be, “It’s A Lot.” Apparently, that phrase is a large part of my vocabulary.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Mystery novels. And Martha Graham Cracker.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: These are wildly different answers but either an event planner or owner of a small independent bookstore.

What’s up next?: Right now I’m also in rehearsal for Leah Nanako Winkler’s play Death for Sydney Black with terraNOVA collective. I’m assisting Kip Fagan, and the play is an insanely smart... and hilarious. It goes up in December. You should go. And I’m in the early stages of the next Reckless endeavor which involves banjos, murder and boxcar children. Stay tuned at