The Theatre of Les Waters : More Like the Weather book cover
1st Edition

The Theatre of Les Waters
More Like the Weather

Edited By

Scott T. Cummings

ISBN 9780367773229
Published April 29, 2022 by Routledge
340 Pages 36 Color Illustrations

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USD $39.95

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Book Description

The Theatre of Les Waters: More Like the Weather combines original writings from Les Waters with short essays by a wide range of his collaborators, creating a personal and multi-faceted portrait of an influential director, revered mentor, and inspirational theatre artist. 

The book begins with a critical introduction of Waters’s work, followed by essays written by a wide range of Waters's collaborators over the past four decades. These essays are framed by shorter pieces of writing by Waters himself: reflections, inspirations, observations, and personal anecdotes. At the heart of this book lies the notion that the director’s central position in theatrical production is defined by collaboration and that a study of directing should take into account how a director works with playwrights, designers, actors, stage managers, and dramaturgs to turn artistic vision into concrete reality on stage.

An insightful resource for early career or student directors in theatre programs, The Theatre of Les Waters sheds light on the art of theatre directing by exploring the work of a major theatre artist whose accomplished career sits at the heart of American theatre in the 21st century. Drawing on aspects of memoir, case study, interview, miscellany, biography, and criticism, this is also an enlightening read for anyone with an interest in how theatre artists bring their creative vision to life.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A Long Conversation

Scott T. Cummings

2. Early theatre experience

3. School report

4. "My Les"

Annie Smart

5. Some things will be lost, maybe.

6. Postcards

7. "The Next Phase"

Mia Katigbak

8. I love lists

9. Theatres I have known

10. "Archeology, Erasers, and Les Waters"

Sarah Ruhl

11. Working things out in public

12. "Les Waters is an Attractor"

Anne Bogart

13. "If you have Les Waters direct your plays"

Charles Mee

14. Silence onstage

15. 24 things I could look at all day

16. "A Story, A Whisper, A Joke"

Quincy Tyler Bernstine

17. "A Huge Vat of Human Skin"

Steve Cosson

18. Ten films I admire that other directors might find interesting

19. Testing for COVID-19

20. "Les(s) is More: The Essential Artistry of Les Waters"

Tony Taccone

21. Some productions I saw that made me the director I am

22. Sometimes

23. "Les. Fragments."

Anne Washburn

24. Room control

25. A good rehearsal room

26. "Les in Space"

Amanda Spooner

27. "Hearing Things"

Bray Poor

28. Learning to direct

29. Friday, August 28, 2020

30. 50 works of fiction that I love

31. "The Power of Contradiction"

Anne Kauffman

32. "Inside and Outside"

Kathleen Chalfant

33. Actors and notes

34. The list of films goes on . . .

35. Thin places

36. Max and the Royal Court

37. Ten key productions for me

38. "Les Waters at the Royal Court"

Rob Ritchie

39. Off a cliff

40. Diary: Top Girls in Tokyo, 1992

Les Waters

41. "Just Nod and Say Thank You"

Keith Reddin

42. National identity

43. Something about lists

44. "Designing with Les: ' . . . back in the arms of a good friend.'"

David Zinn

45. Photographers

46. A few more productions of mine

47. "About Memory. About Ghosts."

Naomi Iizuka

48. Evacuation list

49. The Humana Festival of New American Plays

50. "Partnership Leadership"

Jennifer Bielstein

51. Chair exercises

52. "The Search is the Destination"

Amy Wegener

53. Some thoughts on somebody who is a stage manager

54. "The Trust Factor"

Paul Mills Holmes

55. A cloud of direction

56. Opposites

57. "The Thing"

Sarah Lunnie

58. "Responsion"

Lucas Hnath

59. Presence

60. Humana on my watch

61. "The Art of Seeing"

Meredith McDonough

62. Four more productions of mine

63. Do's and don'ts for directors

64. "Unfounded Belief"

Lila Neugebauer

65. The last list of films

66. The need to do it

67. "Dear Mr. Les Waters"

Raelle Myrick-Hodges

68. Things unfinished

69. Grief

70. Pandemic reading list

71. "Don't Talk"

Bruce McKenzie

72. Kenneth Tynan

73. Some of my favorite places

74. Ghosts

75. "[aside]"

Maria Dizzia

76. Comfort, solace

77. "Still Connected"

Caryl Churchill

78. What is Beauty?

79. A list catalogues experience

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Scott T. Cummings has directed plays and taught courses in playwriting and dramatic literature in the Theatre Department of Boston College since 1994. He is the author of Remaking American Theater: Charles Mee, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company (2006), and Maria Irene Fornes (2013), as well as co-editor with Erica Stevens Abbitt of The Theatre of Naomi Wallace: Embodied Dialogues (2014).