IN THE SPOTLIGHT
SCSC Artistic Director - Linda Khoury
Last year, Artistic Director Linda Khoury was one of 25 applicants selected as a Directing Fellow for Shakespeare at The Juilliard School, arguably the top center for the performing arts in the United States. Work centered on practicums and rehearsal sessions designed to challenge and encourage artists who actively taught and directed Shakespeare. The Fellows were given the opportunity and challenge to study and work under the guidance of outstanding professional mentors from Juilliard and around the country, many of whom have directed on Broadway and in London. Asked what the program was like, Ms. Khoury replied, “It was such a dynamic atmosphere, full discovery everyday. I feel we all were inspired by the excellence and passion of the mentors. They created an inventive environment that was supportive and which encouraged us to explore and risk. It was very exciting.”
And, it was intense, with long days and no time wasted. Showing directing work and getting critical feedback from the mentors was pretty can be both thrilling and scary. For the actors, Juilliard secured acting students from Juilliard, Columbia, and Tisch for us, and believe me, these smart and talented actors made all the directors work even harder. I left there feeling humbled and empowered.
Not only was this group of directors inspired by their mentors, but most of the actors they directed were from the acting programs at Juilliard, Tisch, and Columbia University. “You couldn’t help but admire them. They were in the middle of their individual training programs, already in the process of beginning their careers in theatre and were passionate, responsible, and committed,” says Linda of the student actors. “I wanted to be at my best for them during our collaborations and return their commitment and respect for the work; they were so eager talented.”
What was it like working with the other directors who attended the program? “Wonderful! It was so enjoyable to be able to work and then kick back discuss ideas, experiences, strategies, argue sometimes, and have an ongoing dialogue about our own experiences in theatre, where we stumble, where we succeed, how to get better, how to give more to actors.
After such an extensive and excellent career of directing professional productions, especially of Shakespeare, why would an experienced director wish to take such a path? Linda replies, “I hope I never stop learning to be a better teacher, director, or theatre artist. It quickened my heart and love for what I do and made me so grateful to be in the company of like-thinking peers. It was profoundly humbling and empowering .”
Words and Phrases Coined by Shakespeare
“Such stuff as dreams are made on.” – The Tempest
Check back for more fun facts about Shakespeare and his works.