Donny Levit

Writer, Director, Playwright, Teacher

1991 Alumni

Biography

History, BA & Theater Studies, BA, Emory University (C'91)
M.F.A. in Directing and Scenic Design, Tulane University, (C'95)

Within the theater community at Emory, I learned 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. It allowed me to feel 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.

Among the many moments that stand out from my time at Emory is an Acting: Fundamentals class I took my senior year with Brenda Bynum. I couldn’t fit it in earlier, and yet its timing was a blessing in disguise, teaching me an unplanned and crucial lesson on “acting for directors and directing for actors.” I also have fond thoughts of sering as director of Blood Red Roses (1989) and Cabaret (1990) for Ad Hoc Productions, The Bad Seed for Starving Artist Productions (1991), and acting as Georgie in Georgie Nobody for Theater Emory in 1991.

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. 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.

I currently write and edit for New Pulp City, a a culture and news site focusing on the independent spirit of the New York/New Jersey Metro Area.