Artist Spotlight: Amy Poisson

BLOOD/WATER/PAINT [ Mainstage production, Feb. 2015]

Role: Herder of wild cats with big claws

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What about the story of Artemisia, or the play Blood/Water/Paint are you most intrigued by right now?
Wow, right now, the fact that these stories have survived to be picked up by us in the 2000’s and how timely and relevant they feel.

What part of working on Blood/Water/Paint are you most excited about?
Working with this group of amazing people, mostly women is magic. Getting on to the stage and marrying my work with the actors to the set and lights and sound!

Throughout the process so far, what has been the biggest challenge for you?
Scheduling and roving rehearsal space. I wish that we could pay people a living wage to be artists. These folks are working full time and trying to get to rehearsals after work and give me all they’ve got. But they are in other shows and have commutes and they don’t match up all the time with other cast mates. It is SO hard to do what we do but every time I feel down about it I say “Artemesia had it harder’ and my whining ceases.

What is your favorite piece by Artemisia Gentileschi? Tell us about it, and why you love it!
Her self-portrait. For her to have been able to believe in herself at this time in history, as an artist. Her perseverance, her strength and verisimilitude are so inspiring to me. The fact that she preserved her appearance for herself. It makes me cry when I look at it and think about her struggle.

What other female artists do you love that you wish everybody knew about?
Wow. I don’t know. Barbara Strozzi, composer, we’re using some of her music in the show.

Any favorite quotes, or moments from rehearsal that you are willing to share?
The moment when my playwright had to move to the other side of the room because she was so disturbed by a scene that we were running.

The moment in a run through when my producer had her hands over her face and was crying because she was so moved by a moment in the play.

The moment in a sound design meeting when my designer played me a piece of music that was so perfect for the moment and powerful that it made me weep.

We are making lots of water with our eyes.

Tell us about any upcoming projects  that you’re excited about!

My next show Tumbleweed Zephyr by Maggie Lee, which is the sequel to The Clockwork Professor. It’s going to be at 12th Ave Arts. Also Joy is working on a few new plays and I am looking forward to a long long life of collaboration with her!

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BIO: 
Amy Poisson is a Seattle based theatrical director and most recently directed Fast Company for Pork Filled Productions at Theatre Off Jackson. She directed her first short film ‘Stephen Baldwin’s Backpack’ last summer. Amy has directed various projects for 14/48 and Live Girls! as well as The Clockwork Professor for Pork Filled at TOJ, These Streets at ACT/ Central Heating Lab and The Strange Misadventures of Patty at the Annex Theatre. Amy is a former Equity stage manager and worked at the Seattle Rep for five seasons. She has also managed shows at the Intiman, Empty Space, ACT and various other small theaters that have come and gone over the years. Upcoming projects include The Tumbleweed Zephyr (the follow up to The Clockwork Professor!). Amy holds a Certificate in Directing for Stage and Screen from the UW, a BA in Theatre from Eckerd College.

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