BEST DIRECTOR - 2002
Joel Sass set out to dazzle us this year, particularly with two plays he directed for his own company, Mary Worth: The History of the Devil and Shakespeare's R&J. His extraordinary sense of low-budget spectacle and his ability to draw epic-sized performances out of every actor must be given due credit. Additionally, his choice of material deserves note, The History of the Devil being a mad meditation on the long life-span of evil and Shakespeare's R&J standing as a radical revision of Romeo and Juliet. Best of all, Sass brings a sense of unrestrained fun to his plays. It's as if--technical competence and visual inventiveness aside--they were primarily a great goof, meant at once to thrill and perplex his audience. This they do, every time.