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AYLI Artist Profile: Lily Wolff

Lily Wolff directs Shrewd's upcoming production of As You Like It.

Why are you excited about this production of As You Like It?

I'm so pleased to be collaborating with Shrewd Productions on their first Shakespeare play! I had the privilege of working under Shannon as an Assistant Director for Liz Fisher's DEUS EX MACHINA. I continue to be inspired by Shrewd's mission to support new work, women's voices and emerging artists. AS YOU LIKE IT is an exquisite choice for Shrewd with gender fluidity and sexual ambiguity, indeed, identity, swirling at the center of what this play is about.

After a major push to invest in new work and new play development, approaching a classical work again has been a fascinating process for me. At times crushingly humbling... This cast has been so willing to engage with my (I'm sure, seeming bizarre) desire to bring a devising and developmental spirit into the room on this project - we're trying and failing, experimenting, risking and mining what his play means to/for us now.

I'm ecstatic (but unsurprised) that Shannon was interested in such significant cross-gender casting in this production, allowing Shakespeare's exploration of gender to live in an adventurous and contemporary way. We all know that our theatre community boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to female talent. I'm grateful and excited to be able to put so many of them on stage in these fabulous roles.

A fun fact about me: The first play I ever directed was a Shakespeare play - Romeo and Juliet. In the third grade. I played Romeo and choked on my Ribena-poison resulting in the best performance I have ever given and will ever give on stage. My compulsion to tell stories began with a Shakespearean love story and it feels good to be back there today with more experience and a happier ending...

About Lily

Lily is a British-American theatre director, with a passion for new plays, based in Austin since 2008. Lily is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Most recent directing projects include: workshop productions of two brand spankin' new plays by Michener Center playwright Tegan Mcleod, NEVER SUCH RAIN and COLD WATER ARMY (The Back Pack & UT Lab Theatre); ScriptWork's OUT OF INK 2015 (Hyde Park Theatre); The Austin One Minute Play Festival (SVT/Ground Floor); 14/48 Festival (The Vortex); GIDION'S KNOT (SVT; Capital T's New Directions 2014); STOP KISS (UT Lab Theatre); staged readings of Barbara Hammond's VISIBLE FROM FOUR STATES and Johnna Adams' RATTLERS (Contemporary American Theatre Festival); Assistant Directing fellowships at the Contemporary American Theater Festival 2012 & 2014 (WV) and Cornerstone Theatre Company 2011 (CA); conceiving, cooking and performing EAT ME: AN AUTOBIOGRPAHICAL MENU, a site-specific dinner event held on several houseboats on the Thames river; and as part of her Masters degree, directing and performing CARGO, a collaboratively-devised, all-female performance developed at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and performed in Battersea, London and on Kerrera Island, Scotland.

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