Dec 14, 2011
I Interview Artistic Directors Part 4: Russ Tutterow
Hometown: Straughn, Indiana
Current Town: Chicago
Q: Tell me about Chicago Dramatists.
A: Chicago Dramatists is a producing theatre and playwrights' workshop. We work with hundreds of playwrights every year, almost all from the Chicago area. Most of our work is done with our member playwrights. We have two playwright memberships: Residency (for accomplished playwrights) and The Playwrights Network (which any playwright can join at any time). We conduct a great variety of year-round programs to develop their plays and nurture their growth and careers: productions, workshops, private readings, classes, talent coordination, career guidance, panels, fireside chats with theatre leaders, and a public staged reading in our signature Saturday Series, every Saturday at 2:00.
Q: How do you create your season?
A: We choose the strongest plays from all the plays we have in some manner worked on from the last several years.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as an artist or as a person.
A: I have been asked if there was a time when I knew I was a director. My usual answer was "in college." But then I realized I was actually 'directing' stories on the playground when I was maybe eight years old. I have always wanted to make things.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: Lower ticket prices.
Q: If you could change one thing about your theater, what would it be?
A: Higher salaries and fees for everyone.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A; Theatre that is full of suspense and surprise.
Q: What do you aspire to in your work?
Q: Has your practice changed in the last ten years?
A: Yes. Because of computers and the Internet.
Q: Do you see changes in technology and culture changing how you work in the next ten years?
A: Yes. But I have no idea what to expect.
Q: What advice do you have for theater artists wishing to work at your theater?
A: Come here. Attend our readings and productions. Introduce yourselves.