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EAC drama director attends summer workshop at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Story Photo
[Click Image to Enlarge] Eastern Arizona College's drama director, Steven Higginbotham, recently returned from Washington D.C., where he was chosen to participate in The Kennedy Center?s 10th Annual Directing Intensive: Developing the New Play. In this picture, Higginbotham?seated at the end of the table?participates in a rehearsal session with other collaborators from his group. [EAC ? Submitted photo.]

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s drama director, Steven Higginbotham, recently returned from Washington D.C., where he was chosen to participate in The Kennedy Center’s 10th Annual Directing Intensive: Developing the New Play. This intensive program for theatre directors had two components: to assist in the development of a new work for the stage and to participate in a series of workshops intended to hone skills in the craft of directing. The new plays were composed by up-and-coming playwrights from around the country, and the workshops were led by Michael Rau and Will Davis, celebrated directors from New York City who work in a variety of different performance media.

The Kennedy Center’s Directing Intensive was designed to “provide participants the opportunity to observe and work with a professional director as they guide a development-based rehearsal room, and the chance to meet one-on-one with the director to discuss the rehearsal process and the participant’s own work. The workshop engages all participants in an ongoing, rigorous conversation about the role and craft of the director in the new work landscape.”

Higginbotham was assigned to assist with a new play entitled Vessels, which was composed by Matthew Capodicasa, and to assist the director, Bridget O’Leary of the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, Massachusetts, with its direction. At the end of this 10-day residency, all seven of the new plays, including Vessels, were presented to an invited audience in a staged-reading format at the Kennedy Center.

Only a select group of participants from across the nation are chosen for this Directing Intensive annually, including current university students, recent graduates entering the field, and faculty members at colleges and universities.

“I was thrilled to be chosen for this program and to have the honor of participating,” said Higginbotham. “The title was correct – this was intensive! Every day was packed with meetings, rehearsals, conversations with guest artists, collaborations with fellow directors, and valuable workshop sessions in the evenings. We talked a lot about important issues in our art form—networking with other theatre professionals, freelance directing, collaborating with designers, communicating with actors, and more. I loved having the chance to connect with such inspiring artists — it was invigorating, intense, and the perfect way to prepare for my second year of teaching here at Eastern Arizona College.”

Higginbotham has no plans of slowing down now that he is back on campus. He is settling in to teaching and preparing for the next major theatre project at EAC. Moss Hart and George Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, You Can’t Take It With You, is scheduled for later this fall and the big spring musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, will take the stage in the Fine Arts Auditorium in the spring of 2016. Higginbotham is also planning a trip to London in the summer of 2016 where he will teach a study abroad class in Contemporary London Theatre with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA).

For information on EAC’s Theatre Arts program or the CCSA program, contact Higginbotham by email at or by phone at (928) 428-8460.