The Rubicon Experience

Crossing the Rubicon is an interview series where we talk about the process of play making.

Episode 1:

Katharine Farmer and Mike Billings
Talk About Process

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In our very first Crossing the Rubicon segment, director Katharine Farmer and designer Mike Billings provide fascinating insights into their approach to a play or musical as individuals, and as creative collaborators. During their discussion, Katharine talks about how plays are selected at Rubicon, what kind of research she finds valuable, what she thinks about as she looks at preliminary design ideas, and how a great design informs her work as a director. Mike talks about his own research, the different challenges related to realistic and conceptual designs and lighting his own sets. He shares some of his original sketches and models, and photos of his finished sets to give viewers a sense of the evolution of a design. In addition to her work as a Resident Director for Rubicon, Katharine is also the company’s Director of International Programming. She has scouted and brought to Rubicon a number of interesting pieces from British playwrights, including works by Simon Stephens and a West Coast Premiere by Nick Payne.

Next season, Katharine will direct Shadowlands for Rubicon by William Nicholson. Equally comfortable working in intimate theatres like Rubicon and on large stages like the Dominion Theatre in London, Mike most recently designed the West End premiere of The Prince of Egypt directed by Scott Schwartz. Mike’s next Rubicon project is Almost, Maine, which is designed, built, and sitting on the stage awaiting your safe return to the theatre. (It looks beautiful – we can’t wait for you to see it!) Katharine and Mike have worked together on eight shows, including The Nibroc Trilogy, and, most recently, South Pacific and Never, Not Once.

Crossing the Rubicon © 2020
A video interview series by
Rubicon Theatre Company.​

Video Editor: Joseph Demaria

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