Brian Kulick, Associate Artistic Director of Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company, has taken a position as Artistic Associate at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre/New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF).
Kulick will continue as Resident Director at Trinity, where he will direct William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet at the end of this season.
In his new role at the Public (which began Oct. 7), Kulick will help artistic director George C. Wolfe choose material for upcoming season, as well as oversee a program to assist new directors. He will develop his own directing projects and help choose translations and adaptations for classical material.
In announcing the move, Trinity Rep artistic director, Oscar Eustis, lauded Kulick as "one of America's most talented young dirctors, a man of enormous vision and heart, and I am lucky to count him as a close friend. The opportunity is a tremendous one for Brian."
Kulick was equally warm in his regard for Eustis: "My relationship with Oskar, the company, and the theatre staff has been, and I hope will continue to be, a very important part of my life." Asked what he was currently working on, Kulick told Playbill On-Line, "Well, I'm first getting oriented, which'll take some time, because I'm a profoundly indecisive person. You could say I'M in development."
George C. Wolfe did give Kulick an open winter workshop slot, which he's working to fill. He's also sharing ideas with the Public's Rosemary and John Diaz on the theatre's plans for staging classics once the Shakespeare Marathon has finally run its course.
No replacement has yet been set for Kulick at Trinity Rep, where Oscar Eustis will take this year to look around for candidates in and out of the organization.
I asked Kulick, 34, a specialist in classics and new adaptations of great works, what constitutes a theatre classic? In reply, Kulick quoted Heiner Mueller's words about Georg Buchner: "Everyday there's a Woyzeck somewhere shaving his captain."
Kulick elaborated, "Themes are cyclical, and each era responds to different things. Hamlet was really big in the 19th Century, but the 20th Century is more into the romances, which are more chaotic, a mixture of extremes. It's the same with Euripedes, who was the least favored playwright of his time, and now we turn to him more than the others."
Ultimately, Kulick believes that great works "chart the cartography of a given time. They tell us where we've been and where we're going."
Kulick directed Shakespeare's Timon of Athens for NYSF's Shakespeare In The Park as part of their summer `96 season.
Tony Kushner's adaptation of Corneille's The Illusion, Anna Deavere Smith's solo Fires In The Mirror, and Anthony Clarvoe's adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov are among the works Kulick has directed at Trinity Rep. A former artist-in-residence at the Mark Taper Forum, Kulick received an NEA/TCG Director's Fellowship and a Pew Charitable Trust grant.
-- By David Lefkowitz