The guest director for Bloomington Playwrights Project’s production of Barton Bishop’s Still the River Runs, Dina Epshteyn, says that when she read the script “it was a play that I had to direct. It’s well written, it’s thoughtful and it’s funny. In fact the New York Times’ reviewer said that it was like the movie Weekend at Bernie’s — but funny.”
Epshteyn got the call to direct Still the River Runs from the Playwrights Project’s artistic director Chad Rabinovitz. “I’d worked with Chad in Connecticut. He liked what I did, and when he chose this play he thought that I might be the one to direct it.” She describes her style as collaborative. “I work with my actors, see what they do, and go from there.”
As the director, I’m an outside pair of eyes. I know that it’s natural for an actor to want to be at the center of their scenes, but sometimes that’s not the best thing for the production. I’m always looking to facilitate the flow, to see where the parts fit in for the maximum impact.
Epshteyn didn’t set out to work professionally in theatre. ”I really got my first chances at theatre work in college. I’d gone to study psychology with the aim of then going law school. But theatre and directing were what took over. I loved acting. I’d done dance and photography. Directing allowed me to bring my background and all the things I loved together.”