Directing The difficulty of crossing a field : a symbolic and corporeal approach

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Leonard, Luke Landric

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This thesis examines an approach to directing Mac Wellman and David Lang’s opera, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field; in addition, the paper reflects on my artistic development as a Master of Fine Arts in Directing student in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. As a director I seek a balance between form and content. Similar to Installation Art, I consider the relationship between space/architecture (the stage/theatre) and sculpture, i.e., anything that can be used to create shape: performers, props, scenery, wardrobe, makeup, light, sound, music, language, etc. As a deviser, not a dictator, the success of my work depends greatly on interdisciplinary collaboration and strategies that promote understanding and appreciation among both artists and audiences. My aim is to create structures for formal elements that when arranged uniquely and sophisticatedly have the ability to provoke emotion, thought, and memory in vivid and compelling ways. This paper explores selected stages of directing The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, the strategies that I employed, and concludes with an artistic statement.



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