Joel Sass

It's been six years since Sass snagged this award, so we'll risk being repetitive by bestowing it again. As a double-threat designer/director, his work brings to mind local Gandalf Bain Boehlke, so logically enough, Sass got on board this year as associate artistic director at the Jungle. In those cozy confines he directed the one-woman The Syringa Tree, as well as the electrically dark Shining City (match contemporary meaninglessness with a spooky ghost. Discuss). Most recently he directed and designed 9 Parts of Desire at the Guthrie, which dissected the perilous implications of both the Iraq war and the conditions that preceded it. Sass matches a smart, literate understanding of drama with a giddy, possibility-laden visual sense, and he keeps right on doing it. Good for us.


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