For the love of the stage...
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What inspires me to direct theater is the escape from the everyday and the ability to explore hard subjects. Plays like A Permanent Image and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing are my cup of tea. Because I am a trained performer with a background heavy in improv and comedy, I do enjoy absurdist comedies like Christopher Durang's Laughing Wild. My favorite is working with new works not only for the collaboration, but also because I can surprise the audience with the unexpected.
Theater allows performances to be completely raw. It does not force the audience to look at a certain aspect of the stage. In film and television, the director dictates what the viewer is to look at by selecting that medium close-up shot of a character rather than staying in a wide shot, for example. I personally have been witness to incredible performances on set that never saw the light of day because of the very nature of the medium. Theater audiences are never denied seeing the whole scene when it is performed. Even if the lead character is crying in a monologue, the audience is never robbed from looking at the other characters interacting and responding to what's unfolding. The stage can play with and demand the audience's attention with a little misdirection, trust in suspension of disbelief, and mystical magic to achieve surprise and wonder that is special only to that particular brand of entertainment.