Best Director (2011)

Peter Rothstein

A great director can open up new vistas in familiar work. But a supreme director makes you reassess a play you've already dismissed. Peter Rothstein can take pieces that are often seen as big-budget dross and spin them into something deeper and richer. In 2010, he helmed a trio of shows for Theater Latte Da. First, there was the moving, small-scale Violet (City Pages' choice this year for Best Musical), followed by a terrific (no matter what you thought of the material) rendition of Evita, followed by the latest edition of All Is Calm, the musical exploration of the Christmas Truce of 1914 that has lost none of its impact over the years. Rothstein's gift as a director is that he can get the most out of his actors, guiding them into finding the full, beating hearts of their characters and completely inhabiting their songs. His work elsewhere in the area showcases this as well, such as last spring's affecting production of M. Butterfly at the Guthrie. And Rothstein's Midas touch isn't just with musicals, as his recent work on Ten Thousand Things' Doubt proves.


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