Aug 10, 2012

Moments Between the Moments

photo by Mark Von Holden/Getty Images North America
Had the pleasure recently of meeting and chatting with the very busy director Daniel Aukin, a new play specialist formerly of Soho Rep, now working at every other Off-Broadway theater in town, including Signature Center, where he's directing the new Sam Shepard play. I particularly liked this window into his work:
“Part of the job is to figure out, what are the things in this play that, no matter how we do it, are going to come across anyway?” Mr. Aukin said in an interview in the Signature Center’s cavernous new lobby before a rehearsal. “You could say very broadly that with a lot of plays, there are somewhere between 15 and 30 moments that have to work in a certain way — that have to do something for the storytelling to land. And then there’s room between those places.”

Those liminal spaces are where Mr. Aukin thrives. Indeed, he has few contemporary rivals in finding texture and resonance in a play’s stillness and silence, or what [Itamar] Moses called “the moments between the moments.” That may be why the delicate, fine-grained naturalism of [Amy] Herzog’s “4000 Miles” was such a good fit for his talents. Paige Evans, artistic director of Lincoln Center’s LCT3, said, “He draws drama out of small, ordinary moments, but doesn’t hit them on the head.”
My piece for the paper of record is here.

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