Donny Levit

Director, Playwright, Teacher

1991 Alumni

Biography

Donny Levit
History and Theater Studies, 1991
Brooklyn, NY
M.F.A. in Directing and Scenic Design, Tulane University, 1995

Since Emory

Since my time in both Atlanta and New Orleans, I’ve been stage director, playwright, and translator as well as a teacher in universities and conservatories throughout the country. From 1998 – 2005, I headed the Directors’ Lab at The National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, which also involved me in collaborative projects with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Moscow Art Theatre, and St. Petersburg State Drama Academy. I’ve spent time in Buenos Aires working on a translation of Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro’s La señora Macbeth.

In the late 90s, I started to counterbalance my love for directing large, sweeping plays with more intimate projects that I wrote myself. Those include 23 Skiddoo!! [play with film], .burn merchants. [play with film + dj], brimful (llenisimo), and <<wink>> [play with film + live sound].

Current activities

Recently, I’ve developed a new play, kronic trouth, which has performed in New York over the last few years. I just finished directing Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of An Author. I’m involved in the development of 2000 Nobel Laureate of Literature Gao Xingjian’s newest exhibition of his writing and painting which will show in Singapore in November 2013.  A DVD of the production I directed of his play The Other Shore will become part of Gao Xingjian’s permanent archives at both Chinese University of Hong Kong as well as Université de Provence.

Activities are listed on my website: http://www.donnylevit.com

Highlights at Emory

Director of Blood Red Roses (1989) and Cabaret (1990) for Ad Hoc Productions. Director of The Bad Seed for Starving Artist Productions (1991). Acted as Georgie in Georgie Nobody, Theater Emory (1991). Artistic Director for Ad Hoc Productions (1989 – 1991). President of Alpha Psi Omega (1990 – 1991).

An Acting One class taken my senior year with Brenda Bynum. I couldn’t fit it in earlier, and yet its timing was a blessing in disguise: it afforded me an unplanned and crucial lesson on “acting for directors and directing for actors.”

In retrospect

I was completely unable to articulate any of this for some time after finishing at Emory. The importance of praxis became a guiding principle for me at Emory. I knew that I never wanted to leave the rehearsal room, no matter how much teaching and research beckoned. My dialogue with Michael Evenden about dramaturgy and how it could be truly active within a rehearsal process was invaluable. I felt comfortable working with a dramaturg soon after leaving Emory, and bridging research and theory with the “doing” of theatre has always been what fuels me.