Melanie White is one of 27 talented Emerging Artists who are participating in Intiman Theatre’s Emerging Artist Program for 2016.
Melanie White | Director
Q: How did you first get involved with theatre?
A: I started doing theatre in high school because I had a crush on a boy who did theatre. The relationship never took hold, but a love for theatre did. Within a couple of years, I was fortunate to spend a summer as the youngest apprentice at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, working 12 hours a day 6 days a week. I fell deeply in love with everything about the experience and from that point on, I don’t think I ever considered that I would do anything else. Initially I thought I wanted to act, but I came to understand that working behind the scenes as a director is the way I feel most engaged and alive.
Q: Why is theatre important to you?
A: Theatre is the way we tell our stories as a society. It is a truly communal artform, requiring not only collaboration from those involved in the creation of a theatre piece, but also the participation of an audience. In today’s digital world, it remains an experience that requires physical presence, emotional investment, and conspiracy – literally, the act of breathing together.
Q: What excites you about the Emerging Artist Program?
A: The opportunity to work and collaborate with so many talented, generous, dedicated people! It makes me so happy to know that this is my cohort and that these people will be my confederates as we navigate the program and continue to make work in the future. They make me feel like anything is possible.
Q: What is one experience that stands out in the program so far?
A: My realization somewhere around the middle of the third day of our Intensive week that these people were no longer strangers – that they were family, colleagues, and most importantly, collaborators. I suddenly recognized that we had achieved a level of trust and intimacy that is rare and valuable, and that I felt richer for it.
Q: What or who is your biggest inspiration?
A: I love to travel, to read, and to daydream. I get my greatest inspiration from being open to new experiences and ideas and chasing after the things that excite me.
Melanie White is a director, dramaturg, stage manager, and teaching artist. Her directing work has been seen in New York, London, Seattle, and Los Angeles. She received the Editor’s Choice Award from the Off-Off-Broadway Review for Love Is Not Concerned, and her production of Gertrude Stein and A Companion was nominated for two LA Weekly Awards. She has been artistic director of Hamlet’s Janitor Productions, Open Circle Theater, and Off-Center Opera, and directed Julius Caesar at Green Hill Detention Center. She has worked as a stage manager at Teatro ZinZanni for the past ten years. Melanie received her BA from Brown University and her MA in Contemporary Shakespearean Performance from the University of Essex, England. She has three frequently delightful children.