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In response to the current pandemic, we postponed our 2020 Lab and reimagined how to continue facilitating the professional development of emerging and mid-career theater directors and choreographers. 


an 8-day series of live-streamed and archived conversations crafted for and by theater directors and choreographers

May 23–30, 2020 • 11 am pst / 2 pm est / 7 pm gmt

Curated to reflect a wide range of topics, DIRECTORS LAB WEST CONNECTS reflected upon, explored, and inspired paths forward in the transformed and transforming nature of live theater. Each conversation featured speakers sharing their unique perspectives for 30 minutes, followed by a live moderated 15-minute Q&A. 

Taking advantage of global possibilities to connect through online platforms and move our dialogue forward together, DIRECTORS LAB WEST CONNECTS was live-streamed on and on our Directors Lab West Facebook page, where colleagues could engage with each other and ask questions of the speakers.

ACCESSIBILITY: Closed captioning and ASL interpretation is provided for each session.

Saturday, May 23 • 11 am pst

Anne Cattaneo and Sheldon Epps: A Discussion of Institutional Perspectives, Connections, and Support 


Join Anne Cattaneo, dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater and the creator/head of the Tony Award Honor-nominated Lincoln Center Theater Directors' Lab, in conversation with Sheldon Epps, the current president of Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation and previous Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse. They will be discussing institutional perspectives, connections, and support for directors and choreographers at this difficult time, and as we move forward. 

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here

Sunday, May 24 • 11 am pst

Anne Bogart and Jessica Hanna: A Conversation about Creative Practice and the Shifting Landscape

Join us for a conversation between American theatre and opera director Anne Bogart, who is currently one of the Artistic Directors of SITI Company, and Los Angeles-based director/producer Jessica Hanna. 

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here


Monday, May 25 • 11 am pst

Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein: Using Intimacy Direction to Create a Culture of Consent Post-COVID


Join us for a conversation between intimacy director Ann James of Intimacy Directors of Color and Carly D. Weckstein, sex educator, intimacy director, and founder of The Illyrian Players. In this time of collective fear around touch, they will be discussing language and practices that can help you facilitate a culture of consent and safety when we return to our theatre spaces post-pandemic.

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here

Tuesday, May 26 • 11 am pst

Laurel Lawson and Diana Wyenn: Disability and Equity as Creative Forces

Join us for a conversation between dancer, choreographer, and engineer Laurel Lawson of Kinetic Light and director/dramaturg Diana Wyenn. With work and process informed by disability, these disabled artists will discuss and offer perspectives on how practices of equity, community, and access are creative forces in the creation and reception of live performance.

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here

Wednesday, May 27 • 11 am pst

Daniela Atiencia, Gianna Formicone and Makiko Shibuya: Global Perspectives from Directors Lab West’s International Alumni 


Join Directors Lab West International Alumni, Gianna Formicone (Germany), Daniela Atiencia (Canada), and Makiko Shibuya (Japan) for a conversation moderated by Avivit Shaked (Israel) about the impact of the pandemic on their work and artistic communities. 

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here


Thursday, May 28 • 11 am pst

Scarlett Kim and Mattie Barber-Bockelman:  Reimagining Liveness and Connection for Virtual Space


Join us for a conversation with Scarlett Kim and Mattie Barber-Bockelman, Programs & Projects Managers of CultureHub Los Angeles and New York. They will discuss “liveness” and “intimacy” in virtual engagements. Informed by CultureHub’s 10 years of exploring new media, they will share perspectives on how virtual environments can be a site of reimagining and rejuvenating connection and communication. 

watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here

Friday, May 29 • 11 am pst

Luis Alfaro and Laurie Woolery: Reflections on “Remote” Teaching and Community Engagement


Join us for a conversation with citizen artists Luis Alfaro (Associate Professor of Dramatic Writing at USC) and Laurie Woolery (Director of Public Works at The Public Theater), who will share their thoughts on this unprecedented moment in the American Theater and possibilities for paths forward from here. Based on their experiences creating art through extensive personal engagement, they will explore how artists can connect and inspire one another or develop work with our communities in a post-COVID environment.

watch on youtube   |  read about the speakers here

Saturday, May 30 • 11 am pst

Sabra Williams and Laura Karlin: The Power of the Arts — Theater & Dance in Systems-Impacted Communities


Join us for a conversation with Sabra Williams, the Executive Director of Creative Acts, and Laura Karlin, the Founder and Artistic Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre. As culture workers, we can play a significant role in addressing the grief and emotional effects of the pandemic. Hear from two artists who have been doing this work and how they see the potential impact we can have.


watch on youtube  |  read about the speakers here

DIRECTORS LAB WEST CONNECTS was produced by Che’Rae Adams, Douglas Clayton, Reena Dutt, Ernest Figueroa, Martin Jago, Cindy Marie Jenkins, Randee Trabitz, and Diana Wyenn, with additional support from Emily Claeys.

read about the producers here

DIRECTORS LAB WEST CONNECTS was made possible and live-streamed by HowlRound TV, a global, commons-based peer-produced, open access live streaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively.

DIRECTORS LAB WEST is made possible in part by support from the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and partnerships with Pasadena Playhouse and Boston Court Pasadena. 

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