Kevin Ray is a Generative Theater Artist, producing & directing original work in collaboration with actors & designers. Most recently, he produced and directed UNEARTHLY VISITANTS, a devised play based on ghost stories written by Edith Wharton which was presented at Triskelion Arts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. As an Interpretive Artist, he has directed productions of Jennifer Haley's Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, Mark Ravenhill's Scene from Family Life and David Harrower's adaptation of John Wyndam's speculative fiction novel The Chrysalids. Kevin has directed productions of the musicals The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Monty Python's Spamalot, and A Year with Frog and Toad in addition to Menotti's opera The Telephone. He has received grants to support his work from Brooklyn Arts Council and The Puffin Foundation. Kevin is an Associate Member of SDC and holds an MFA in Theater Directing from Brooklyn College. His work has been profiled in Greenpointers and The New Yorker.
I am a Generative Artist, producing & directing theater in collaboration with actors & designers.
My process begins when I discover fresh “source material” (a short story, news report, photograph) and have a “hunch” it’s ripe with rich content that will make a savory performance.
I collect a wide variety of ingredients (interviews, biographies, images, sounds, scholarly articles, objects) that crack open the source material. In this marinade, my imagination percolates with possibilities. I create charts and diagrams to analyze, organize and develop my thoughts.
When I’m boiling over with ideas, I present this stew of inspiration to my collaborators through hand-crafted rehearsal plans designed to spark their enthusiasm and imagination. Using improvisation, tableaux, soundscapes, movement, fabric manipulation etc. we collectively investigate each ingredient, actively experimenting with deepening its thematic content through theatrical form. I facilitate reflective discussions to identify which ideas are most resonant, slowly peeling back layers revealing the production’s core.
During rehearsal, I select and sequence potent ideas, boiling down the work into its most expressive, meaningful form. The result is a theatrical feast, overflowing with vivid characters, gripping narrative, concentrated themes and delicious theatricality, leaving audiences with the lingering aftertaste of profound central questions.