PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Peter and the Starcatcher Director Alex Timbers
By Matthew Blank
June 12, 2012
Alex Timbers, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for his co-direction (with Roger Rees) of Peter and the Starcatcher, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Timbers is a Tony-nominated writer-director and the recipient of Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as two OBIE Awards.
Credits include The Pee-wee Herman Show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, A Very Merry Unauthorized Pageant, Gutenberg! The Musical! and Hell House.
Alex was president of the Yale Dramat and is the artistic director of downtown company Les Freres Corbusier.
Full given name:
Alexander Carvelas Timbers
Where you were born/where you were raised:
New York City
Something you're REALLY bad at:
Singing. Dancing. Which keeps
me in constant, wide-eyed awe of the performers I get to work with.
First Broadway show you ever saw:
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out?
In high school and college, I loved reading about directors
like Oskar Eustis, Michael Greif, Des McAnuff and Robert LePage.
their views on
theaterís potential and their eclecticism really inspired me and continue
Current show you have been recommending to friends:
One Man, Two Guvnors
Some favorite musicals:
Robber Bridegroom, How to Succeed, Two Gentlemen of Verona,
Merrily We Roll Along, In Trousers, Tommy
Some favorite modern plays:
Edward Albeeís A Delicate Balance, Christopher Durangís
Titanic, Stephen Karamís Sons of the Prophet, Arthur Kopitís Indians
ďFrom this Moment OnĒ from Cole Porterís Out of this World
Favorite directors of all time, stage or screen:
Mike Nichols, Jack OíBrien, Annie Kauffman, Ken Russell, Baz Luhrmann, Michael Greif, David Herskovits
Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have
loved to have worked with:
The one performance Ė attended - that you will never forget:
Van Hoveís Hedda Gabler at NYTW. The distillation of both the character choices and design elements to their essential qualities felt so smart and fresh to me.
MAC or PC?
Most played song on your iPod:
ďWith a Good Criminal HeartĒ by The World / Inferno Friendship Society
Last book you read:
"The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl"
Must-see TV show(s):
Iím a huge "Eastbound and Down" fan. Danny McBride as Kenny Powers is one of my all-time favorite comic performances.
Last good movie you saw:
Some films you consider classics:
"They Shoot Horses Donít They"
The original "Rollerball"
Performer you would drop everything to go see:
Katie Finneran. Everything she does is hilarious and filled with invention and heart.
Pop culture guilty pleasure:
I love Brit pop without judgment, the good and the terrible.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
Moment you knew you wanted to pursue a career in the
Seeing Tommy when I was 13 was a certain kind of revelation. It felt like theater was in dialogue with the popular culture. Then reading Bob Brusteinís book "Making Scenes" in college was what made me want to do this as a career.
What did you find most challenging or taxing about this project?
Without representational scenery, the physical staging has to suddenly explain so many different complex environments, indicate cinematic transitions, as well as stand in for what would be budget-busting action set pieces.
Figuring out the uniting vocabulary for all this sort of staging was fun for us but definitely challenging.
Favorite pirate movie:
Worst job you ever had:
I drove a truck one summer during college, without a license and with great hazard to the New York population.
If you could play any role in Starcatcher for a week, what
would it be?
I canít imagine doing a tenth of what those actors deliver onstage every
night but I have a deep affection for the character of Smee. He has some of the funniest lines and gets to share the stage with some truly riotous scene partners.
Any upcoming projects you can talk about?
The next show Iím doing is an immersive club show about Imelda Marcos with music by David Byrne of The Talking Heads and Fatboy Slim. Iíve done a lot of 360-theater but nothing as crazy as this.
Career you would want if not in theatre:
I've always been interested in urban planning. Reading books about architecture, city planning, and the history of New
York are a private hobby. "Lowlife" and "The Powerbroker" are two of my
favorites, and the first play I ever wrote and directed was about Robert
Something about you that surprises people:
I have a bizarre and inexplicably deep knowledge of the Cash Money Records hip-hop catalogue starting from the early Ď90s. I can quote albums at length.
"I'll never understand whyÖ"
Some people don't have an instinct to be quiet backstage.
Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Donít be afraid of the audition. The writers and director want you to succeed.
Words of advice for aspiring directors:
Make your own opportunities. If people arenít handing you shows to direct, donít wait for it: do what you can to create and produce your own work.