With a strong and skillful hand, DeLisa who’s crafted many beautiful productions at The WorkShop Theater and Retro Productions, is the recipient of the Innovative Theatre Award Outstanding Director 2014 Lights Narrow. Now she’s taken on Verona. Let’s talk to her about Verona Walls.
Q. What first attracted you to VERONA WALLS?
A. Several things – Laura is an absolutely marvelous writer and an exceptional human being. To work together on something was immediately motivated even before I read the script. And then once I did? I have had many conversations over the years about the relative value of Romeo and Juliet in both society and the context of the Shakespearean canon. Laura’s play actual solves a lot of my problems with the piece! It’s a perfect complement and manages to make my least favorite Shakespeare play infinitely more interesting. What a feat she has accomplished here. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Q. How has the play changed since you began your collaboration with playwright, Laura Hirschberg?
A. I think that Laura has taken the development process to heart in order to fully realize her vision. She is ever open and gracious to perspective and perception. However, she has to be given credit for being really true to it and holding fast. Her core commitment to this work’s truest heart has been titanium. And rightly so. When we did the reading we received standing ovations. I’ve never seen that at a reading. She’s written something very, very special. And her process has been astonishingly mature for a writer at any age, let alone one with the blush of youth and effervescence that she has.
Q. What do you feel about the message of the piece in modern times?
A. Look, all the great songs and stories have been written about love and war. Reading, seeing and hearing them won’t spare us all from learning those lessons ourselves. We can all see the patterns of history, but that doesn’t stop the reality that every generation needs to travel their own path to love and peace. This story is perennial and its lesson ephemeral. We can only find solace in knowing others have and always will ask these same questions. Laura’s voice is a worthy one to add to the chorus.
Q. What you like audiences to take away after having seen it?
A. It’s not an answer, it’s a question: what is truly worth fighting for? One can always hope that more people answer “love” than “war” but that’s really up to each of us individually.