Director Annika Prichard on Returning to Metamorphoses and Indoor Theater
Written by Katrina Filer | September 16th, 2021
Annika is a theater and teaching artist who was born and raised in Seattle. She graduated from with her BFA in Musical Theater from Temple University, where she was able to wear many hats both on stage and off. She’s recently worked with organizations like Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Foundry10, and Temple Theaters, and is excited to continue work with young artists this fall by directing Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses with Penguin’s teen ensemble.
Katrina: What drew you to Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses as this year’s fall play?
Annika: Meta embodies theatricality in a way that really excites me after spending a lot of time on my computer. It’s a piece that allows us to explore and embrace rich design, movement, intense emotion, and human connection in a way that I think will be cathartic and unifying as we begin to share group experiences in person once again. I love that this show is a true ensemble piece in which in which actors are working as a true team.
Katrina: Metamorphoses is a unique play because it’s a collection of different stories, but maintains a common thematic thread throughout. What is your favorite part of Mary Zimmerman’s writing in Meta?
Annika: I love the different styles of text and language throughout the story. Characters communicate using poetry, prose, contemporary text, and physicality – often simultaneously – which leads us to investigate how we choose to tell different stories as well as who gets to be a storyteller.
Katrina: You’re returning to this play as a director after acting in Meta with Seattle Public Theater in 2014. How has your understanding and connection to the play changed?
Annika: Along with the themes of transformation and change that are clearly present throughout the piece, I think the ideas of return and cycles will be particularly alive in this production. I’m personally returning to this show and our cast and creative team. Audiences will be returning to live, indoor, in-person theater. However, the transformative experiences we’ve had while away from each other are going to play a major role in shaping how we view, perform, and create. How do you return to somewhere or something when you yourself have fundamentally changed or transformed?
Katrina: Speaking of returning, this will be the first Penguin production that’s both indoors and in-person since the start of the pandemic, and you’ll be performing at UHeights. Is there anything about this new space that you’re particularly excited about?
Annika: While creating outdoor theater over the past few years (like with our summer production of The Tempest), we’ve learned how to intentionally use the natural features of our environment to make unique and space-specific choices. I’m so excited to bring these lessons in creativity into an indoor space! Metamorphoses will be performed in a historic 1902 school building and I think the space’s quirky and unique architecture will really enhance the production.
Katrina: I’m so excited to see this production in this space! Wrapping up, why is this story important right now? What do you look forward to sharing with your audiences?
Annika: Young artists have a lot to say right now and I cannot wait for audiences to see what they create. The beauty of this show is that in many ways, it is an open vessel that can be filled in infinite unique ways. With the electric energy, confidence, eagerness and openness among so many of these artists, I know this production is going to be special.
Registration for Metamorphoses is open! Actors and designers ages 14-19 are invited to sign up while spots remain. To read more, visit our Productions and Performances page under Programs.