Diane Paulus

(Diane Marie Paulus)

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  • Born:
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Director

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Diane Marie Paulus is the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is an American director of both theater and opera Paulus was nominated for the Best Director Tony Award for her revival of Hair, and won the award in 2013 for her revival of Pippin. She has received the 2009 Harvard College Women’s Leadership Award and the Columbia University IAL Diamond Award.

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Art cannot be looked at as an elite, sacred event anymore. It has to be embraced as an accessible, popular form, which is what I believe theater is at its roots. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
As a director, I never feel that I have the answers.
At the core of what I'm doing is a belief in the audience, a belief that populism doesn't mean dumbing down theater, but rather giving the audience a voice and a role in experiencing theater.
Being a director, whether you're in rehearsal or you're in auditions or you're in a creative meeting, is so much to me about being present in the moment. There's a sense of time stopping. Time
For me, the reason why people go to a mountaintop or go to the edge of the ocean is to look at something larger than themselves. That feeling of awe, of going to a cathedral, it's all about feeling lost in something bigger than oneself. To me, that's the definition of spectacle.
I am always looking for what piece, what artists, what playwrights, what directors, what subject matter is going to catalyze an audience.
I don't want to be in an art bubble. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I give so much of myself to my work; I want to be with people who are going to be there with me. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I grew up with a beautiful gold harp sitting in our living room. My older sister played it.
I had this epiphany that I like the interaction with people. I wanted to make things happen at a grassroots level.
I had to drop a boulder to wake people up about the A.R.T. We've done that, and now we have audiences again who want cutting-edge work, who want to be challenged, but who also won't be falling asleep at the theater. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I knew ART was was going to give me this opportunity to expand my role as a director and finally let me have a seat at the table where I could get involved in these policy discussions and producing discussions and, frankly, the financial discussions. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I listen to music, I read scripts, and I know pretty intuitively if I can unlock it in a way. It's actually very liberating when you understand that not everything is for you. Music, Chants & Rapps
I really challenge every actor at the beginning of a process, and I always say, 'I have an idea that I'm going to bring to the table. I hope and expect that you will have an idea and bring it to the table. But the way I really want to work is that together we're going to have a third idea that is better than either of our ideas.' Hope ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I think actually what keeps the intensity manageable - it's a little counterintuitive - is that it's changing all the time. Every week is different for me. Time
I think every theater in America wants a younger audience... and you can't just hope to have a younger audience, you have to program things that audience is going to connect with. Hope
I think in our culture there's been a tendency for people to blame the audience. There is a tendency in our industry to say, 'The audience has left the building. People don't want culture anymore.'
I want an audience that will come sitting forward in their seats.
I'm always interested in looking - historically - at how theater can animate history and how all of that can make us engage with our lives in an enriching way. History
I'm always interested in working with people who are good team players - that are selfless that way in their interests and dedication to the project.
I'm sorry, but to ask an audience these days to invest three hours in a show requires your heroine be an understandable and fully rounded character.
In Elizabethan England or classical Athens... theater was at the center of, not culture, but society and politics and religion and civic engagement. Those things have a different audience. Society ;Religion & God ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It's freeing to not be caught up in your own personal baggage.
I've gotten to the point that I don't even know what tomorrow brings. When I'm teaching, obviously I'm in town for the class every week.
Look at where I lived! Four blocks from Lincoln Center. I used to play in the fountain. And then I started taking dance lessons. I was in 'The Nutcracker' for the N.Y. City Ballet when I was 8 and dancing in 'The Firebird' for George Balanchine when I was 9. Believe me, that's something you don't ever forget.
Music is rhythm, and all theater is rhythm. It's about tempo and change and pulse, whether you're doing a verse play by Shakespeare or a musical. Music, Chants & Rapps
My generation of director has no illusions that we are going to be fed and cared for by subsidized theater in America.
Opera is the ultimate art form. It has singing and music and drama and dance and emotion and story. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Politics, to a degree, is about legislation, administration. You can't be there in the trenches. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The mission of the A.R.T. is to expand the boundaries of theater through works of the canon and the new works of tomorrow.
The musical theater is a glorious and distinctly American innovation in the history of theater. History
Theatre and opera were always the twin kingdoms that I felt I had to conquer, because they were my parents' favorites.
We're a depraved civilization. All this technology, all the computer games and the iPhones... nobody will sit for art anymore. What a dismaying state of humanity. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
When you're a freelance director, you are hired to create the art, and it kind of stops there. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You have to think about why you're asking an audience to come to the theater. It's not that they should come because it's good for them, because it's the vegetables that they should eat and the culture shot that they should get... It's about experience and building community and catalyzing dialogue and bringing people together.