Dream Play: Anne Kauffman


This man is shocked at Anne Kauffman’s talent!

Another edition of our much beloved weekly feature in which we quiz directors on what they might stage had they not a care in the world as to time, costs, space, rights, etc. This week we feature the charms of Anne Kauffman, who is currently directing GOD’S EAR by Jenny Schwartz with New Georges and EXPECTING ISABEL by Lisa Loomer at Asolo Repertory Theater. Most recent: THE THUGS by Adam Bock, ACT A LADY by Jordan Harrison, SIDES: THE FEAR IS REAL, TYPOGRAPHER’S DREAM by Adam Bock, THE LOYAL OPPOSITION by Jorge Ignacio Cortias, HANG TEN by Karen Hartman, THE LADIES by Anne Washburn with The Civilians. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, an alumnus of the Soho Rep Writers and Directors Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League of New York, a founding member of The Civilians and was a 2003-2004 New Dramatist Resident Director and a member of New Georges Kitchen Cabinet. She is also on the directing faculty at NYU in the Playwrights Horizons Theater Studio. Anne received her MFA in directing from UCSD.

Anne would direct:

My dream project at this point in time is to remount Lisa D’Amour’s 16 SPELLS TO CHARM THE BEAST in a site-specific situation. This is the story of Lillian Davis, metropolitan housewife living on the 42nd floor of an upscale, rent-controlled building in a city that could be Manhattan. She takes great pride in the view of the skyline as seen through her sliding glass door, a view that, unfortunately, becomes more and more obscured by incessant construction and skyscraper expansion. At age 55, Lillian
Davis sits down to write her will, outlining the contents and distribution of her earthly possessions. As she writes, a beast, a bona fide beast, spies on her through a telescope in his crappy, Cro-Magnon apartment across town. During the course of distributing her personal items, a deterioration of her own identity ensues; as she disengages from her possessions, so does she disengage from her self.

The dream is to stage the play in the living room of an Upper East Side apartment and have access to the apartment across the street where the beast would live. Audience members would spy on the beast through binoculars from Lillian’s living room, and listen to him engaged in his various activities through some kind of audio set up between the two apartments.