1st Edition

The Theatre of Les Waters More Like the Weather

Edited By Scott T. Cummings Copyright 2022
    340 Pages 36 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 36 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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).