Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spotlight On...Kim Weild

Name: Kim Weild

Hometown: New York City

Education: MFA Columbia University, BFA-NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Favorite Credits: All of them

Why theater?: It saves lives.

Tell us about Soot and Spit: It is a celebration of the perseverance of the human spirit, of James Castle’s life, his determination to make himself into an artist despite how others viewed him. Like all artists Castle made art because he needed to make art. Born profoundly deaf, he never learned to read, write, sign or speak but his art was his language -  a beautiful, rich, haunting and powerful language evoking longing, loneliness, humor and silence.  It is also the only play that Chuck has explicitly said that he has written that is about disability. We have assembled a truly remarkable group of artists - from actors, to musicians, artisans, crew and more all of whom are helping to bring Castle’s world to life through bluegrass music inspired by John Hartford (a self-taught fiddle player), dancing, American Sign Language and multi-media projections of over 150 of artworks by Castle himself. What we hope is that Soot and Spit will enable its audience to experience the “other”- and rejoice in the unquenchable creativity of the human spirit.

What inspired you to direct Soot and Spit: To me at its core Soot and Spit is about the intrinsic nobility, tenacity and perseverance of the human spirit and it is also about the special bond I share with my brother Jamie. Born five years before me, and profoundly deaf since birth, he himself communicated through drawing and only came to learn American Sign Language later in life. Having him as my brother has been one of my greatest blessings. He has taught me much about love, patience, kindness, compassion, courage, tenacity, true communication, the value of silence - how to feel and hear with my eyes, empathy and perhaps above all - Grace. He has taught me that each of us is deeply original and every day, no matter how hard, we must look beyond the fear of differences in order to connect.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Bold, nuanced, honest, physical theater that virtuosically brings together all the elements of theater in order to tell a great story, create a unique event. Theater that challenges, asks me to lean in, to listen closely, to think. Theater that emotionally engages me. Those who have endeavored and survived to tell the tale. Seriously far too many to list but in theater, the immediate ones that come to mind: Anne Bogart, Arianne Mnouchkine, Pina Bausch, Joan Littlewood, Paul Sills.

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

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Oslo

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Binge watching "Billions" on Showtime

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: An astronaut

What’s up next?: American Moor with Keith Hamilton Cobb at the Boston Center for the Arts

For more on Soot and Spit, visit www.newohiotheatre.org and www.ourvoicestheater.com. For more on Kim, visit www.kimweild.com