Hold Me Well Artist Profile: Rudy Ramirez
Rudy Ramirez directs the World Premiere of Eva Suter's Hold Me Well for Shrewd.
Why this play? Why now? Why Shrewd?
I began working with Eva Suter on this play in the fall of 2013; she brought me on board to help her think through the queer ramifications of a world in which "all the men are dead." A big part of my journey with this play, particularly as a queer artist, is working to represent that a biological agent can't eliminate a sociological construct: it might kill people with Y chromosomes, but that means that a number of women will die and number of men will live, so our characters must mourn the loss of women as well as men even as they navigate a landscape where the sociological construct has lost its ostensibly biological mooring points.
We also spent a lot of time building this world together, taking in the feedback of multiple audiences as I guided this play through a development class at UT, where Eva was working on her MFA and I am working on my PhD. I had to say goodbye to this play for a while due to scheduling conflicts, and as much as I loved Katie Bender's beautiful production at UT, I really wanted to return to the play someday.
I can't think of a better fit for this play than Shrewds, and Shrewds for this play. Not only is Shrewd a company devoted to work by and about women, but the first Shrewds show I saw was Milk Milk Lemonade, which was a delightful and moving piece of queer theatre. I'm excited that this play, which has its roots in Othello, pairs so well with its previous production, a gorgeous As You Like It that also had its own gender landscape to navigate, although a very different one. They had the forest: we have the wasteland.
Rudy Ramirez is a director, writer, performer and teaching artist specializing in new work. His most recent production, Terminus at The VORTEX, won the 2016 Austin Critic Award for Excellence in Production of a Drama. He is the winner of three B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Direction for Qualities of Starlight, Sing Muse and The Physicists, as well as a finalist for the 2015 NNPN Director's Fellowship. He is Associate Artistic Director of The VORTEX and a proud company member of Shrewd Productions, for whom he has directed Still Now (Nominee: Outstanding Production of a Drama, BIP Awards 2015) and Emma When You Need Her. He has also directed for Sky Candy Aerial Arts, Teatro Vivo and the University of Texas at Austin, where he is pursuing his PhD in Performance as Public Practice, as well as the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis; he recently made his New York directorial debut with Rocky and Rhoda's Lesbian Past at Dixon Place.