WHO I AM AS A DIRECTOR
What kind of work do I like to do?
One of my favorite parts about creating theatre is identifying the difficulties found in each project and embracing them as potential opportunities to be extra creative. Every project has difficulties. These can be due to the process (resources, time frame, procedures, people, etc.) or to the product itself (lots of exposition, quick and plentiful scene changes, playing with the audience’s understanding of time and space, anything that has never been done on stage before, etc.). After identifying the difficulties, I always try to create a game plan that not only addresses the difficulties, but turns them into the greatest strengths of the piece. I like to tailor every production I do to the specific actors, space, and resources that I have, optimizing the specific strengths that each offers.
So basically, I like pieces with interesting difficulties. They get my creative juices flowing!
How do I like to tell stories?
Physically. To put it simply. I enjoy telling stories using creative and ensemble-based movement. I love embodying symbolism on the stage. I think that one of the great strengths of the stage is telling stories that are non-realistic or hyper-realistic so you can really get the heart of the issue. I love physical comedy and farcical stories. I love minimalistic design elements so that the attention is on the actors themselves. I love crystalizing a moment or thought down to its simplest or most intrinsic form and representing that through
a color choice, a prop, or a movement.
Special topics that interest me most?
1. I am particularly fond of helping to develop new work or re-imagining established works. I love the freedom of not being at all in the shadow of how it has been done in the past and the myriad of unanswered questions that accompany a new work excite me endlessly.
2. With a wild imagination myself, I find that I am also attracted to stories centering on imagination or the creative process. The imagination is a place where anything can happen. The rules of the universe can be written any way that you want them to be. I believe that deep down every audience member is always hoping to be reminded of that child inside of them that sees the world differently than grownups do. Audiences want to believe that an object can become something else entirely and that a perception of what is can be changed in an instant. I love working on projects that allow the audience to exercise and rediscover their imagination.
3. I am a firm believer of telling stories of hope and beauty. I believe that there is not any hopeless case in the world and I like to reflect that in the work that I do. Even in the midst of tremendous hardship or mourning, there is hope. I like to create beautiful pictures on stage. Especially, in unlikely circumstances of pain or ugliness I like finding ways to make it strangely beautiful.
4. Last, but not least, I love misunderstood characters. Whether they be characters that are not understood by the other characters in the play or by the audience themselves, I enjoy finding out why they are misunderstood and what makes them tick. People and characters are like mysteries to me; I am attracted to the most elusive ones and enjoy working to uncover what they keep hidden from most of the world.
Why do I do theatre?
I believe that art, and specifically theatre, is good for the soul. Just as humans understand the value of taking care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, art nourishes us spiritually. Art should melt the ice within and dust off the cobwebs of mundanity; it reminds us of what it is to be human. Encountering art changes you. It may cause you to think. Hopefully, it causes you to feel. But most importantly, it reminds your soul that you are part of a bigger whole. That feeling of connectedness and being a part of something greater than myself is why I do theatre.
ABOUT MELISSA ORDAZ
Melissa is an Orange County, California based director, writer, and acting coach.
A passionate theatre maker since youth, Melissa founded and directed her own theatre arts summer program at the age of 14. The program grew over 7 summers to include over 80 participants and 10 staff members.
After getting her degree in Directing, she worked with two local schools to begin a theatre arts program and revitalize a stagnant one. In that time she taught multiple levels of acting to students ages 10-18 and directed a variety of shows.
Additionally, Melissa enjoys freelance directing and writing/developing new work. She has directed on a variety of stages in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas and even directed a production of her own work, Undiscovered Places.
When she is not at the theatre, you can find her traveling, taste-testing desserts, or playing at Disneyland with her handsome husband, Matt, and cute pooch, Mickey.
An up-and-coming artist, Melissa is youthful, hard-working, and always looking for her next project or collaboration, so if you have an idea and would like to work with Melissa Ordaz, please get in touch.
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