(© Joe Cicak/iStock Photo)
Victorian Horror, anyone?
Join me at Book-It Repertory Theater as I direct The Turn of the Screw, adapted by Rachel Atkins, based on the novella by Henry James.
One cold January evening in 1895, the Archbishop of Canterbury told Henry James a story. A ghost story about two children, corrupted and haunted by their dead caregivers. James wrote in his journal “It is all obscure and imperfect, the picture, the story, but there is a suggestion of a strangely gruesome effect in it.”
After publication, the reviewers agreed. “one of the most thrilling stories” “ distinctly repulsive” “cruel and untrue” “the most hopeless evil story that we could have read in any literature”
This could not have surprised James, he himself, while correcting the galley proofs of the novella, told a friend “When I had finished them I was so frightened that I was afraid to go upstairs to bed.”
What are we so afraid of? What compels us to reexamine this story over and over again? Since it appeared in print, it has inspired other novels, prequels, plays, movies, television, and opera. What makes it so horrible and so continually attractive?
To paraphrase the horror writer Shirley Jackson, “we delight in what we fear.” And in Turn of the Screw, James has deliberately constructed a claustrophobic intimacy and ambiguous circumstance that requires the audience provide the source of the fear and that keeps us, I think, eternally delighted by the story.
As Miss herself states, “—there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don’t know what I don’t see—what I don’t fear!” Come see what you fear!!
Directing Film: Hugo House, Seattle.
Hugo House has been a writing home to me for several years. I've had the good fortune to work with gifted writers and generous inspiring teachers like Jennie Shortridge, Kristen Millares Young, and Karen Finneyfrock. This collaboration between myself & Cara McDonald of Content Matters was an opportunity to give back to this institution that does so much to open the literary doors to everyone who loves literature and writing.
I was thrilled to return to Seattle Pacific University to direct Jaclyn Bachus' Men On Boats, an all-female telling of the William Powell Expedition. Not only was the cast all women, but our design and production staff was 90% female as well!
In the Midst of a Grand Canyon Rapid by F.S. Dellenbaugh
Women's Voices on and off stage
2019 Outstanding Performance Nominee
Shout out to Seattle Public Theater for their new series developing playwriting talent in the Pacific Northwest: Locally Grown. In December, 2019, I was happy to join the cast of This is Not (Y)Our History: a play about race relations in the women's suffrage movement by Rachel Atkins. I loved giving voice to Elizabeth Cady Standont and her daughter in this play. It was all the more exciting because earlier that year, I had played Susan B. Anthony in Mat Smith's marvelous The Agitator's at West of Lenin in Seattle.
Thank you, Theater Puget Sound for the Gregory Award Nomination.