A Sense of Gratitude in Real Time

By Elena Stephenson

When I reflect on my directorial contributions for In Real Time, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. I feel gratitude for the experience, gratitude for the depth of learning, and gratitude for being able to work with a talented design team and ensemble. This experience was new for me because it was my first time serving as a director for a new play in development.

Table read at first rehearsal.

 

This past summer I was able to take Problems in Play Production with professor and playwright, Joe Salvatore. During that class, I was able to track the role of a director in the new play development process. That learning got to come full circle once I was able to put it to practice, by working alongside Joe as a director for one of his plays.

Window Cast (L to R): Kirstin Kammermeyer, Megan Ibarra, and Kyla Blocker

I immediately connected with “How do You Say ‘Window’ in Italian?”, catching the Three Sisters Chekhov reference in the title. The play appealed to me because of the strong sibling dynamic and the way that the sisters resembled Olga, Masha, and Irina. It was impossible not to connect to this play on a personal level because of my husband’s work as a nurse, specifically caring for those that suffer from dementia.

Window cast with director, Elena Stephenson (second from left)

What I loved most about all these plays is though they were very different, they all held a common thread of exploring human connection and capturing a moment “in real time.”

Photo © Chianan Yen