Alex Timbers co-directed Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher, which played at the New York Theatre Workshop from 18 Feb - 24 Apr 2011.
Place of birth?
You now live in?
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I did my undergrad at Yale but never went to grad school.
The first work you ever directed was?
The first plays I directed in college were comedies- Black Comedy and then Lend Me a Tenor.
What plays would you most like to direct?
I would love to direct more farces.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Be unique, be original, be yourself. To my mind, that’s the path to finding your artistic voice as a young artist.
Career highlight to date?
The six years working on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The show represented a series of firsts for so many of us (our first regional show, our first show at the Public, our first Broadway show)?and, for me, the first musical I ever wrote. I learned a great deal about the craft of writing and refining storytelling as well as the fundamentals of how shows happen on a bigger scale.
Briefly tell us how you become involved with Peter and the Starcatcher?
I was up at Williamstown Theatre Festival during Roger Rees’ tenure and he asked me to work with him on adapting this book for the stage.
Briefly tell us what the musical Peter and the Starcatcher is about?
Well first off it’s not a musical, and that’s one of the many things that’s surprising about this version of the Peter Pan story. There’s no pirate ships, no swordfights, no red-haired boy in green tights. To some extent, it’s about how it might not be so great to be Peter Pan after all.
Might we see you directing Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway?
That’s not the intention for this show. It’s a gritty, inventive play that is experimenting with different staging and storytelling vocabularies. We’re thrilled to be at New York Theatre Workshop, which I consider to be one most incredible theater spaces in the city.
You recently directed the musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson both Off-Broadway and then on Broadway. Is there a difference in how you approached a work for Broadway, as opposed to Off-Broadway?
Not really. I’m interested in big commercial storytelling with a left-of-center approach. I feel that has a place on Broadway and off.
Who are your favorite directors?
There are so many that I look up to. Michael Greif, Anne Kauffman, Trip Cullman, Carolyn Cantor, Maria Mileaf, Moises Kaufman, Christopher Ashley, David Herskovits, Oskar Eustis, Des McAnuff, Richard Maxwell, Jackson Gay, Joe Mantello, Caden Manson, Daniel Aukin, Daniel Sullivan, Jack O’Brien, Ivo Von Hove, and Pam McKinnon. This is a wildly incomplete list but they’re among the people I’ve taken inspiration from as a young director and I’ll go to see anything they direct.
If you had not become a director, what might you have done instead?
Probably urban planning.
Favorite after-show haunts?
For Peter and the Starcatcher, we’re being introduced to a whole new group of places but, when we were at the Public nearby, we liked B-Bar and Swifts.
What was the last Broadway show you saw?
The closing performance of my show, The Pee-wee Herman Show.
What was the last book you read?
Low Life by Luc Sante. I enjoy books about the history of New York.
What ware some of your favorite movies?
Last year, I loved Scott Pilgrim, Black Swan, and Tron. Art movies with a pop sensibility.
Favorite TV programs?
Eastbound and Down, Party Down, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.
What are your future plans?
Doing a lot of development and writing this year. Very excited about my next wave of projects.