Year of Graduation: 1988
Current Job: Founding Artistic Director of Theater Latte' Da
This is a Twin Cities-based company dedicated to new musical theater. He also works extensively as a freelance director around the country. His current work includes directing, working in theater, musical theater and opera.
How did you decide to work in this field?
My freshman year at St. John's I had symposium with S. Nancy Hynes. She saw my passion for drama and encouraged me to meet with the Theater Department. I did and immediately decided to become a major. But ultimately this work found me; I love what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
I get to work with a wide-range of people, all passionate about their work. I get tremendous satisfaction creating new work; to begin with an idea, bring together a group of diverse collaborators, and see that idea live and breathe in front of a live audience.
What suggestions do you have for students who are having a hard time finding a major/career path?
Study what you love. Do what you love. Passion will take you much further than talent or skill. Ask yourself these questions: Who are the people I want to work with day in and day out? How will I grow and continue to challenge myself? What can I do that will allow me to go to bed each night and feel good about my day's accomplishments?
Is there anything that you were able to take from SJU that helped you transition into life after school?
I am very grateful for the liberal arts education I received at St. John's. Being a director, I need to know about history, psychology, politics, religion, music, and the visual arts. St. John's introduced me to a broad range of disciplines and instilled a passion for learning. St. John's also taught me that I can change the world and that I have a responsibility to do so.
What personal qualities are most important in your field?
A director has to be passionate about research. A director has to be detail oriented while keeping sight of the big picture. A director must be a good communicator, able to converse in a wide range of vocabularies. A director must be a good listener, attentive to the actor, the audience and the world. A director has to be compassionate, able to empathize with both the hero and the villain.