Meet the Moxie Commission: Margaret Lee
This week, we're introducing the fabulous directors of the Moxie Commission! First to be announced was Leigh Rondon-Davis, and next up is the incredible Margaret Lee! We first worked with Maggie on our production of From A to Double D last year (check out her Q&A from the in-person days here), and we couldn't wait to be back in a physical theatre to have her on our team again.
Check out her bio and featured pictures of her past work, and read on for a Q&A with Maggie about musical storytelling, Drag Race, kicking down the gatekeeping door, and more.
MARGARET LEE is an NYC-based director/choreographer. Recent: From A To Double D by Mandy Murphy (IRT Theater), The Golden Spike by Don Nguyen & The Lobbyists (BRIC House Artist Studio). Her work has been seen at The Old Globe, Access Theater, The Flea, and The Shakespeare Forum. While serving as Artistic Director of Chicago troupe 33rd Street Productions, she focused on fostering cross-disciplinary creativity with artists primarily in STEM, in addition to helming productions of Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon, Venus in Fur by David Ives, and Company by Stephen Sondheim. She has been fortunate to assist Kathleen Marshall, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, and David Mendizabal at theatres such as The Old Globe, New York Stage & Film, Long Wharf Theatre, and Olney Theatre Center. Margaret is a Drama League Directors Project Alumna, a Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow, a The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals alumna and a proud SDC Associate Member. LeeMargaret.com
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What drives you to work in theatre?
There's a certain sort of feeling that only live performance can conjure, and my favorite form of it happens in the theatre, because audience and artist are constantly pinging off each other. That electricity between everyone in the room allows for intense investigations of the ideas presented on stage and I love being able to create that environment for my actors and the audience.
Who is a woman+ artist who inspires you and why?
Lately I've been obsessed with Tank and the Bangas. Tank (the lead vocalist) is an absolutely incredible storyteller and it shines blindingly through in her music. Her lyrics are painstakingly insightful, her improvisations with the band are carefree in the way that only deep trust can allow for. In every facet of her art, she displays intelligence, compassion, power, and uniqueness, which I think is the perfect embodiment of an artistic leader, no matter the medium.
What excites you about virtual theatre?
I'm excited about the different perspectives that virtual theatre plays with. It adds another element of design to play with - suddenly there's an ability to continually reframe and redirect the audience's attention. Beyond the fun new virtual playground, I'm also grateful for the discussions about how efficient our "normal rehearsal" ways are and how the industry can take tools from the virtual kit to improve accessibility and affordability.
What have you been reading, watching, or playing this year that you would recommend?
I watched Season 12 of RuPaul's Drag Race. The thing that really made it special was the after-episode interaction. Normally the queens would have club bookings as their season airs, but this year, their fan interactions were limited to Instagram Lives and Cameos. I found it inspiring to see another live performance industry continue to foster community and connect with their audience despite the pandemic.
What makes you feel hopeful right now?
The gatekeeping door has been kicked open in so many ways. There's no instant fix to any of the issues that the theatre industry is wrestling with, which isn't necessarily hope-inducing. However, there is also no way that the door can ever be shut and locked again, which means we can only go forward and upward from here.
Stay tuned for more announcement's about the Moxie Commission, including the rest of our director cohort, behind the scenes content, and tickets, coming soon!
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