Now entering his third year as SCR’s artistic director, Masterson recently talked about the general approach to developing a season.
“It should reflect variety,” Masterson says. “A season should be surprising and something of a journey. It may have a drama followed by a comedy, with a darker story and maybe a musical. You want classics and new in the mix. And along the journey of moving through the season, I also want to keep people guessing.”
Masterson says that planning starts by “falling in love” with more works than a season could possibly hold and then making decisions about specific plays from the large pool of works. Among the factors that could help with the decision: a great role for a particular actor, a story that needs to be told, or a new work that’s in development and that SCR wants to be a part of.
And then there’s reality, which always comes in at some point: “Can we afford to do all of the things we want to do?” Masterson says that some adjustments could make one play a possibility, or find another play that might wait a bit longer before coming into a season. Also there are decisions about plays that he and Founding Artistic Directors David Emmes and Martin Benson may want to direct.
“We have a tradition at SCR of offering a great mix,” he says. “Our seasons mix classical and contemporary work and world premieres that will continue to shape not only the future of SCR, but of American theatre as well. That’s right in line with our mission.”