Week 22 | Artist 22 of Created to Create 2017 | Rick Lombardo, Director/Playwright/Artistic Director
Rick Lombardo is an award-winning stage director, artistic director, adapter and educator. In the past year, he directed two Off Broadway premieres, Ring Twice for Miranda at City Center Stage 2 and Albatross at 59E59 Theatres, which he previously directed in Boston (2015 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), at Gloucester Stage Company and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lombardo was the Artistic Director at San Jose Repertory Theatre for six seasons, where he directed the world premieres of The Snow Queen (New York Musical Theatre Festival Outstanding Production and Publishing Awards), Game On (Theatre Bay Area Award Best New Play 2014), and Love in American Times, Spring Awakening, The Weir, Disconnect, The Dresser, along with his own adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which has been produced now in four cities and two countries. His musical of The Snow Queen has now been performed in over twenty productions in the last few years, and one three continents. For 13 years he was the Producing Artistic Director of Greater Boston’s New Repertory Theatre, where his productions were regularly recognized with awards, and for which he received the 2008 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. His New Rep production of Bill W. and Dr. Bob played an engagement Off-Broadway at New World Stages. Other award-winning New Rep productions included A Streetcar Named Desire, Sweeny Todd, The Threepenny Opera, Ragtime, Quills, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and The Clean House, among others. Lombardo is currently the Chair and Artistic Director of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University. He has served on the boards of the Society of Directors and Choreographers, Arts Boston, the New England Association of Theatres and the National New Play Network.
Where were you born? Where do you live/work?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and I currently live in the Atlanta area.
What fuels your desire to act/create?
I love the power of the living breathing in-the-flesh performance. I LOVE the power of stories. I think I am first and foremost a storyteller. The stage is my favorite machine.
How do you work with overcoming fear/doubt?
Remembering great work doesn't come from complacency. Fear almost always means you are pushing yourself, trying something new. It's good to be afraid!
How do you heal from rejection?
To pursue an artistic life is to choose a life that will always have highs and lows - and often very high highs, and very low lows. I ask how can I grow from any setbacks that happen.
What are you inspired by NOW?
How engaged people are becoming with the dangers of our current time, and how artists can use this moment to create and make new critical, dangerous, subversive art!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Network more! Be more daring earlier.
Who/what has had a powerful influence on your work?
Probably the most inspirational book I read about the theatre at a formative moment in my life was Peter Brook's The Empty Space. It changed the way I thought about the art form, in a very fundamental way. I also think the great writers for the stage have been some of my best teachers, with Shakespeare, Brecht, Beckett and Sondheim being most influential, both as a director and as a writer.
What is your next project or a recent project?
I continue to be excited about Albatross, the adaptation of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner I've been directing for the last couple of years, and which has now performed in Boston, New York, Edinburgh, and Phoenix. I'm directing three musicals in the Atlanta area this coming season, including a world premiere Ewok musical. Really. I'm banging around a few ideas for the next musical I want to write myself, and my reading list is deep with books I'm researching for inspiration.
10 things that make you happy are...
Making something new
Boston sports teams
Working with long-time artistic friends
Being in New York City - anytime
How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
A glass of very good wine.
What are your creative hopes and dreams?
To create more original work, and to see if travel around the world.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2017.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2017
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.