Spotlight on Scott Horstein, director of THE FRYBREAD QUEEN and Writing Workshop Leader

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Scott Horstein has directed workshops and readings at Native Voices, East West Players, the Black Dahlia Theater, and the West Coast Ensemble. His production dramaturgy credits include Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, San Diego Rep, and the Old Globe, where he dramaturged for Arthur Miller on his penultimate play Resurrection Blues. He's the former Manager of Play Development for Cornerstone and Literary Director for the Black Dahlia Theater.

In addition to directing The Frybread Queen for this year's retreat and festival, Scott will also lead a Writing Workshop based on Elinor Fuchs' essay Visit to a Small Planet. This workshop is open to all retreat participants.

Native Voices: As you recall from last year's retreat, Native Voices didn't require much pre-retreat work. This year we decided to begin the dramaturgical work on our retreat plays two months early. How has this experience been for you?
Scott Horstein: Great! Our play is still in its becoming phase, and there’s no way I couldn’t have gotten my head around it without this early conversation with writer and dramaturg. And I don’t think we could have made nearly as good use of the retreat.

NV: In addition to your directing credits, you're also a freelance dramaturg. What have been some of your favorite projects?
SH: Everything at Cornerstone Theater Company. Pentecost at the Evidence Room and Old Globe.

NV: How does your experience in dramaturgy influence your directing work?
SH: With directing I give more free play to my own instincts at first without trying to control them with what the text wants – but ultimately having that dramaturgical toolkit to process my impulses – what does the play want? How can you analyze the text to see what it will bear? – is what the dramaturgy gives me.

NV: What drew you to the profession of theatre?
SH: I like to perform. I like the magic of audiences and live performers in the same space.

NV: What is your earliest theatrical memory?
SH: Probably seeing the famous Bob Baker’s marionettes in downtown LA with my mother.

NV: If you could go back in time, which era would you visit?
SH: Revolutionary France? 5th century BCE India (when Buddhism was born)? Elizabethan England? I don’t know.

NV: What's the longest standing item on your "To Do" list?
SH: Learn Spanish.

NV: What is your greatest indulgence?
SH: Fantasy baseball? Though at times it’s a chore/addiction.

NV: Fill in the blank: It's not theatre if it's not _____.
SH: It's not theatre if it's not live.

NV: The 2009-2010 Season marks Native Voices' Tenth Anniversary at the Autry. Where do you think Native theatre will be in the next ten years?
SH: I can only project based on what I know of Native Voices itself -- I don’t know the rest of the field well. But if Native Voices keeps doing what it’s doing, I expect we’ll look back ten years from now and see that there will have been lots of new productions of contemporary work around the country.


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