This semester, Mei Ann Teo, along with collaborator Troy Anthony, will be directing the TDM Fall 2021 Production and teaching a class entitled Theatre Making through Relationship and Contemplation. Mei Ann can be found professionally working as a director, devisor, and dramaturg. We had the opportunity to have Mei Ann answer a few questions for us in anticipation of their work with TDM in the fall.
What excites you about working in TDM this fall?
I'm thrilled to be BACK IN PERSON after being virtual for so long. I'm looking forward to being in the room with each other as theatremakers, which really is the action of stumbling towards a collective vision of truth - complex and thorny, light and dark. I'm most excited to start a new work with my bestie Troy Anthony and invite TDM folx into the very beginning of our process. In the past year and a half, we've been railing against the way theatre has been made and what gets produced. At TDM, we get to chart that for ourselves - to resist the need to produce in order to relish and deepen the process. We get to make the work and the how of the work.
What do you do as an artist? What’s an upcoming project you have that you’re excited about?
My artistry is located in the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice, usually in the roles of director/devisor/dramaturg. That means I question everything, am insatiably curious, seek to break form as a way to make change, hope to heal for justice, and love to meditate upon and within dream and life. As a director, I'm currently working on remounting Where We Belong by Madeline Sayet (Woolly Mammoth's production) for a national tour starting at Baltimore Center Stage and directing Keene by Anchuli Felicia King at the American Shakespeare Center.
What are some underlying themes in your artistic work?
Some underlying themes of my work that continue to arise: quests for new paradigms, whether in content or form, or unearthing forgotten ones that remind us of our humanity. I love subverting the grand narrative through the multiplicity of collective personal histories, and have done work through documentary theatre in spaces under oppressive ideologies (like China and conservative Christianity). I like to center the story that hasn't been told, in order to disrupt the mainstream status quo. And then also...can it be beautiful? How can this moment have more layers and meanings? What will burn brightly in my mind long after the moment has passed? What will clear my soul? What remains?
Learn more about Mei Ann’s work here: www.meiannteo.com
Photo Credit: Michael Kushner