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Meet Director Taylor Moschetti

Taylor is the director of Reach/Recover, the next #newworkshop selection in Now & Then's 3rd season. Artistic Director John Perovich had a chance to speak with Taylor about her process. Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen will be presented to audiences Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM

John Perovich (JP): Taylor! Thank you for coming to play with us at Now & Then. I know it's a busy time—which reminds me...before we go any further...Taylor is the Artistic Director of Laughing Pig Theatre in Mesa, AZ, which has a spectacular event coming up tomorrow night: East Valley Overnight Theatre - 5 Plays in 24 Hours. The plays will be written tonight and performed tomorrow at 7:30PM and 9PM! I love 24 hour projects! For more info, click here.

Alrighty - let's jump in: What interests and excites you about Reach/Recover?

Taylor Moschetti (TM): It excites me how much of the play really focuses on the use of technology to communicate. I love the distance it creates between each character, and I am looking forward to discovering what is left wanting. Thinking about today's age, we rarely, truly connect...especially in person. With cell phones, I know I have gotten so comfortable getting instant gratification, and when that's not the case, it can be so frustrating—not to mention—the stress it can put on a relationship. I am excited to see what individual experience each cast mate can bring to this piece as we bring Reach/Recover to life.

JP: I am terrible with my cellphone and always having a need to be connected. It's awful. There are benefits, too, but...at what cost, I guess. What are you hoping to accomplish during the workshop week?

TM: It is important to me that we build truly grounded and genuine characters. I am so excited to work with this incredibly talented cast and be a small part of the discovery of their characters. If I do my job correctly, I will help them bring this story to life through motivated and smart blocking. Christopher did a wonderful job of writing pragmatic characters in this musical, so I really hope I can help continue to add value to this beautiful piece. Working with this cast, I have no doubt they are going to kill it.

JP: Yes! We have a great team joining us! Reach/Recover features Lauren McKay, Natalie Andrews, Devon Mahon, Dawn Rendell, Anna Katen, Jordan Blanton, and Erin Coté. In your opinion, is the approach to directing a workshop different or similar to directing a production? How so?

TM: I think I could argue that it is pretty similar. I believe a good director should constantly be thinking about how to add value to the play and make sure all movement is motivated/makes sense. Just like directing a fully realized production, this week I am focusing on how I can best help the cast tell the story. I am a firm believer that a director's job is to support their performers in the discovery of their characters, but not to hold too heavy of a hand. Ultimately, the director should foster a healthy, collaborative environment where their performers are comfortable exploring and making sense of their characters. The director acts like the outside eyes making sure all character choices and movements make sense and add value to the story. Obviously, in a process like this, the turn around is very quick—so we have to make quick decisions. The blocking is also simplified, but still incredibly important.

JP: Thank you for sharing those thoughts. With the limited timeframe, I always feel that we have to work more on instinct and less on critiquing our choices. We have a lot of ground to cover so, hopefully table work informs our choices, moves us forward, and instills in us a strong sense of the characters...their world. It can be stressful, at times—but exciting!

Thank you, again, for sharing your time with us for this process. I have one final question that I always like to ask everyone: There are so many options for audiences when it comes to entertainment in the Valley or at home. Why should audiences come to Reach/Recover?

TM: Reach/Recover has so much heart. The characters are relatable and grounded. This cast is incredible. The music is beautiful. It has everything a person would want, yet is still unexpected (especially as a musical). I love that it takes you on a journey exploring topics like mental health, endings, and how technology has changed how we communicate. It is a unique and worthwhile experience. It's also exciting to be a part of the development process.

Reach/Recover by Christopher Patrick Allen will be presented to audiences Friday, March 6 at 7:30PM and Saturday, March 7 at 11:00AM. For info and tickets, click here.