John Michael DiResta
JOHN MICHAEL DiRESTA is a theater director who focuses on new work development, immersive theater, musical theater, and theater for social justice. He has developed new plays at The Public Theater, MCC Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Hangar Theater, and many others.
Its March, its cold out, and Ive been in a filthy East Village basement for a week. Water stains line the walls. The lights leak when it rains. Theres a stench from the alley. And theres a mess of trash everywhere. Admittedly, Ive been adding to the garbage every morning with old clothes and books I find at friends apartments.
A pictorially detailed, delightfully uncomfortable, raucously funny imagining of public school teachers planning a telethon in the 1980s, Miles for Mary was birthed by Brooklyn-based theater company The Mad Ones over a multi-year development process at the Starr. Time Out New York declared, “Your troubles lift from your shoulders while you’re watching Miles for Mary,” and the New York Times hailed it as “an ideal showcase for this company’s strengths.”
How do you run a brand-new theater company that has no home, no full-time staff, and seeks to produce plays only by underrepresented Latino/a playwrights? Ask Jacob Padrón.
On the first day of April, I had dinner with 50 strangers. We were gathered around long tables in the vestibule of Judson Memorial Church for their monthly Wednesday Bailout evening of communal food and performance art. The chicken soup was delicious.