(DG) Dialogues are conversations with theatre directors about their process, vision, and experience working on specific productions in the Philadelphia theatre community. This year, in honor the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, we are hosting short-form (DG) Digital Dialogues with members of (DG) who have work in the Fringe.
First up, Will Steinberger, director of Hannah Van Sciver’s Fifty Days at Iliam:
Directors Gathering: What is your show?
Will Steinberger: Our Fifty Days at Iliam is a theatrical meditation on Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam paintings. The Trojan War was Twombly’s muse and Twombly is, in a way, our muse.
DG: What drew you to this project?
WS: Many things excited me about this project from the get-go. Hannah and I have enjoyed collaborating several times and I am always trying to return to favorite collaborators. From talking with Hannah about the piece and our early workshops with performers, I sensed that there was an incredible space for abstraction and a melding of performance styles. I also suspected that this project could explicitly delve into the relationship between artist, audience, space and story.
DG: What makes this show right for Philly Fringe?
WS: Fifty Days is a perfect work for Fringe. It melds multiple styles and modes of storytelling into its own voice, which is a hallmark of great experimental works. Fringe is the most exciting, wild time of the year and Fifty Days is an exciting, wild performance.
DG: What shows are you most interested in seeing at this year’s Fringe?
WS: There are about twenty shows I am looking forward to in the festival this year. I saw 17 last year and I’d love to surpass that number. With that said, I think my schedule prohibits me from seeing After the Rehearsal / Persona, directed by Ivo van Hove, and Available Light, choreographed by Lucinda Childs. I’m excited to see A Doll’s House by Jo Stromgren Kompani, 100 by Sam Henderson, Zombies…With Guns by Tribe of Fools, Andy: A Popera by the Bearded Ladies/Opera Philadelphia and The Captive by PAC.
DG: How do you decide what to see?
WS: Typically, the best shows I’ve seen in the Fringe are ones I haven’t heard of and am dragged to at the last minute. That’s how I came to see Romeo Castellucci’s On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God and Improbable’s The Devil and Mister Punch. I can’t imagine having not attended these two works. So go to a random Fringe show on a whim, people! And let Fifty Days at Iliam be your first whim.