ASFWD: Being a Directing Apprentice

By January 3, 2020 Apprentices, AS FWD

Skye Lindberg is one of our 19-20 Acting and Production Apprentices. During our production of SILENT SKY, she had the opportunity to serve as the directing apprentice, working with director Kristin Clippard to see how the show comes to life. Read on to learn more about her experiences working with Clippard and how she learned to “expand wonder.”

“…wonder will always get us there.”

This sentiment at the end of SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson stood out to me the first time I read the play, several months ago, and again when I heard the play read out loud for the first time at the first rehearsal on October 29, 2019.

What if we opened our eyes each morning and were filled with wonder? What if we went into every opportunity full of wonder and curiosity?

Entering into this opportunity to be the Directing Apprentice for SILENT SKY under director Kristin Clippard, I wanted to take on this mentality of having an open-mind, filled with wonder. I really didn’t know what to expect when joining the production in this role, but I was ready for anything!

I was able to join in on most of the production meetings for SILENT SKY, which gave me an incredible insight on the inspiration for this production. Kristin was always extremely inviting to the designers and creative team. She encouraged questions and asked many of her own. She never shot down ideas, but rather made them a larger discussion. We could all tell that she had the best intentions for this show in mind.

Director Kristin Clippard holds an orb for the first time during a SILENT SKY rehearsal.

As we began rehearsing, I quickly realized how much of an “actor’s director” Kristin is. She is a performer herself and I could see how important each actor and their personal process was to her. The rehearsal room was a lot of fun to be in, with lots of jokes, learning new science facts and accepting each other’s ideas and thoughts.

Kristin is the type of director that I love listening to and learning from. The questions that she would ask the actors during the entire process were always so smart and helped them find a new understanding or way to their expression. I think this is an incredible skill that only some directors have.

This process flew by. One minute we were in the rehearsal hall and the next minute we were in tech and then all of the sudden we had an AUDIENCE! I sat in the audience for the preview performances of SILENT SKY and let me tell you… there is nothing more special than sending your baby, aka the show you’ve been a part of for weeks, in front of an audience for the first time. They laughed. They cried. I laughed and I certainly cried. It was such a special experience to see these actors put their all out on stage.

Skye and Kristin share a fun photo during a long tech process (featuring coffee!)

I sat next to Kristin for one of these preview performances, and it was clear that her work wasn’t over yet. She had many notes that would continue to be ironed out that week, but we shared some glances when we’d hear audience members verbally react to what was happening on stage. I admire Kristin so much as a director and person. Observing her was an incredible experience and I hope to work with her in some capacity again!

If this show taught me one thing, it’s to keep the wonder inside of you alive. Fuel the parts of your brain that yearn to know more. Keep dreaming and wondering about the unknown. We may never understand it, but the journey is what matters most.

Learn more about ASFWD: The Next Generation at americanstage.org/FWD