What attracted you to directing this particular play?
I originally staged part of the play during my last semester of college and have been itching to do the full version ever since. I love how simple this play seems on the surface, yet how surprisingly complex it is underneath.
How is The Aliens similar to or different from other plays you've directed?
I'd say that The Aliens is the most realistic play I've directed, actually. It has been a fun challenge to identify theatrical conventions that we're accustomed to and how we can subvert them to tell a better story.
Are there particular themes or qualities which the audience should be alert to?
I think that the audience should come into this play with an open mind. Annie Baker beautifully represents the people that you would walk by on the street without a second glance. Her dialogue and use of timing truly make these specific characters come to life, and I think that this extreme attention to detail is absolutely masterful. I think that Baker touches upon what it means to be isolated, how hard it is to truly communicate with others, and most importantly, that the truest of friends can come from unexpected places.
Other than The Aliens for The Theater Project, what was the most exciting theater work you have done and why?
My first full-length play, Dog Sees God. I found the play to be both hysterical and deeply personal, so it was a huge joy to work on. We also decided to do the play in a way that it isn't normally done - to focus on the human elements of these characters instead of poking fun at their comic personas. I remember saying at a production meeting that if "only one person suddenly realizes that these are the Peanuts characters then this worked" It was closing night when I heard someone have a very vocal "aha!" moment, so I might have patted myself on the back after that one.