Works by Women

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Interview: Katrin Hilbe, Part 1

photo-1Katrin Hilbe is a terrific director who has worked all over the world on a wide range of projects. She is currently directing We Are Now, a site-specific piece about globalization, the future and freedom. It’s a wild ride set in an office building not far from Grand Central Station in New York City. And, the piece has been developed over the past six months.
Katrin spoke with Works by Women about We Are Now, her latest projects and why the League of Professional Theatre Women is so important.
WORKS BY WOMEN:  You’ve worked at various parts all over the world recently. How has your travel, exploration and work in other cities influenced your direction of We Are Now?

KATRIN HILBE: The closest to We Are Now with its structural complexity of music, dance, movement, storytelling in a setting that has never been used for theatre was Fractal Summernight in the medieval castle of Werdenberg (Switzerland), where sixty artists – performers, choreographers, video artists, installation artists, dancers, singers, actors, came together to create a performance tour through the entire castle, loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I directed scenes from the Britten opera with multimedia, “Bottom’s dream” from the Shakespeare, and had a singer in a dress covering an entire staircase with elongated fingers perform arias from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. You constantly run into issues nobody’s ever thought before, as the space was never considered to be a theatrical venue. But in the end it’s magical, precisely because of that.

WBW: Tell me more about the process of creating We Are Now?
KATRIN: In the spring of 2012 our resident company, Next Stage of Sanctuary Playwrights Theatre, began delving into the subject matter of freedom, starting with the very broad question “Are We Free?” We had workshops in addition to our bi-weekly meetings doing research, reading articles, discussing, listening to music, sharing our perceptions and exploring the complexity of FREEDOM. Then we added Moment work into the mix, creating scenes, “moments”, which were then compiled into a presentation on May 23, as Prototype 1. From there Bob Jude Ferrante created the basis of what is now We Are Now, which we presented as a reading on August 8th, called Prototype 2. Together with the company it has seen many rewrites and incarnations, right into the rehearsal process for this first full production of our piece. So the credit is rightly We Are Now, by Bob Jude Ferrante with company.
WBW: What can audiences expect from We Are Now?
KATRIN: A fun, funny, immersive experience in a unique setting with serious undertones, which will hopefully spark somebody’s awareness as to how much we let ourselves be pigeonholed by the government for one, but even more so by companies who want to “service us best” by knowing all of our choices and preferences. And how much we self-segregate already by living in neighborhoods where people of the same demographic strata live, the same political orientation, religion, professions etc.

WBW: Where do you get your inspiration?
KATRIN: From everything. I walk around with eyes peeled and ears pierced, snatching up visual information, human interaction, sounds, everything, I’m a sponge. Then of course there’s art that informs me: visual art, movies, theatre, I’m just incessantly curious, and I expose myself to unknown territory a lot. I get restless in my comfort zone, I always need to grow.


One comment on “Interview: Katrin Hilbe, Part 1

  1. Pingback: | we are now

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2012 by in Interview, Theater, Women.

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