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Summer with the Drama League at the Hangar from Bulgarian perspective

September 2, 2014 / by Teya Sugareva, Hangar Directing Program


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My name is Teya Sugareva, and yes - I come from ex-communist Eastern Europe country. But I was blessed to be the first international Drama League Fellow of the 2014 Class. How did that happen? I truely cannot give a straight answer to this question, but I want to share what is it like to be in this program.

My participation in Drama League’s Directors Project was useful to me in terms of gaining new knowledge and improving my professional skills in several different ways:

• developing my director's way of thinking and enriching the use of my directing tools

• gaining new teaching experience

• establishing professional relationships and connections with artists from USA

• working in a different linguistic environment

• developing leadership skills and improving my ability to work in team

The Program was build in two time periods.

From 12 to 18 May was the first one - Professionals Week. Within this week I had the opportunity to meet with leading figures in the New York theatrical life - directors, artists, producers, investors, actors, casting directors, owners of theater companies, publicists. As a participant in these meetings, I had the opportunity to learn about their professional experience and ask questions around the field of their competence that concern me as an emerging director. Surely many of these people would help me in case of further professional engagement in New York.

From 26 May to 27 July I was working at the Hangar Theatre as Drama League Fellow along with Mellissa Crespo, Zi Alikhan and John Michael DiResta. As part of my involvement there, I had the opportunity to work in different areas, which included:

• Director of This Property Is Condemned by Tennessee Williams as part of WEDGE season

• Director of The Little Prince by Antoine Exupery as part of KIDDSTUFF season

• Producer and fight choreographer of Oedipus by Sean Graney, directed by John Michael Diresta as part of WEDGE season 

• Teacher at one-week workshop on acting in the European theater, which was attended by all members of the Lab Company

• Director of Love & Information from Kerry Churchill - site specific workshop and table work

• Moderator of Prologue Discussions before mainstage show Around The World for 80 Days

The Opportunity to work in an English speaking environment I define as the biggest challenge in my participation.

After two and a half months spent in the States, my future creative plans took new direction and I set new goals. I am pretty sure that after this program I will come back to the States to create more projects.

After my work at the Hangar came to its end, the artistic director Jen Waldman gave me very positive feedback and I feel that now she is willing to continue working with international Drama League directing fellows. I believe that this is a true missionary.

On the picture above: Me, The Little Prince cast and other Lab Company members, John Michael DiResta (DL fellow) infront of the Hangar Theatre