André Ernotte

1944­1999

I had the great honor and joy of working with André Ernotte on six musicals over the past 12 years. André was a gentle and brilliant man. As a director he was at once fanciful and practical. He combined flawless artistic taste and daring with a flair for theatrical magic. Beds could be vertical, trees could ooze green blood, and a pineapple prop might open to reveal flying pink feathers. These images might not be in the author's script, but in André's hands they became essential. When André and I were working on our first show, Goblin Market, I was young and didn't know that writers were allowed to attend rehearsals. Someone suggested that I might want to drop in and see what was going on. So I did. When I walked in, André was talking to the two American actresses who were playing Victorian sisters. He was telling them, "You are like the hookers in Amsterdam, hawking their wares." They understood immediately and I began to go to a lot of rehearsals. His imagery was often startling but always right. Most important, he knew how to take an audience into the full world of a play and how to lead them out— enriched. I've never written a show without André at the helm. I never really saw the point: he understood it all.

 
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