Nigel Maister

Staging Director

Brutalized by a desperate, overbearing parent who chained me with barbed wire to a baby grand piano at an early, impressionable age, and terrorized by a series of sadistic piano teachers wielding large, wooden rulers and unfortunate hairstyles, I soon realized that the life of a musician was not for me. Instead, I fled South Africa, my land of birth, and nursed my aching artistic (and failed musical) ambitions with puppets, literature, and unhealthy doses of opera.

Needless to say, I also flirted shamelessly, directorially, and sometimes outrageously with European theatrical masters and canonical masterpieces, noh theatre, contemporary clowns and clowning, visual art, graphic design, assorted libretti and song cycles (all unperformed and—possibly—unperformable), and plays and fiction (all performed, published or some combination thereof). A dark night of the immigrant’s soul led me to the upstate tundra of Rochester, New York and the Artistic Directorship of the University of Rochester International Theatre Program. An even darker night brought me to the student new music ensemble Ossia, thence to John Cage’s Song Books, thence to Alarm Will Sound, thence to Miller Theatre, thence to future AWS performances, and, by this declension, into the madness wherein now I rave and all we mourn for.