Director Linda Eisen on One Shoe Off
Directors Notes for Season Opener One Shoe Off by Tina Howe
(opens Sept 3-19, Tickets HERE)
I had the privilege of meeting playwright Tina Howe almost exactly 17 ½ years ago. I know this without doing the math as it was just under three weeks after giving birth to my son who is now a high school senior.
I was working with a regional theatre in Northeastern PA. The new Artistic Director was mounting a production of “One Shoe Off” that season. I was too young to be cast as Dinah in the production but was asked to play her in a scene from the show during a fundraising event for the theatre in which Tina Howe was present. My new mother fatigue helped counter the fear of performing the words of a Tony Award winning playwright ten feet away from her. The scene went well. Ms. Howe was gracious, funny, charming and complimentary. Although I found the script extremely entertaining and well written; I didn’t think about “OSO” for a very long time after that.
Fast forward 17 years. I’m now living in Charleston and lucky enough to have a relationship with a wonderful theatre that encourages me to propose a play that I want to direct for its upcoming season. I search my memory and play library for something that speaks to who and where I am now in my life. Along with other scripts, I re-read “OSO” with its themes of long term marriage, the audacity of fidelity, existential panic, middle aged regret, old friendships, and keeping life’s wolves at bay. I look no further.
Luckily for me SOBT agreed to let me revisit this play and has given me trust, support and artistic freedom. I am extremely fortunate to have some of the very best actors in Charleston along with a highly creative and professional production team who “get” my vision of the show and are helping to make it even grander than I imagined.
My hope is that this play speaks to you and entertains you regardless of where you are in your life.
Linda Eisen: received a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She studied in Brazil with director Augusto Boal and redesigned and directed the Town Crier Summer Theatre of Historic Philadelphia, Inc. She was a co-artistic director of the PA Repertory Theatre, a PA Council on the Arts Roster Artist, the director of the Theatre Program at the Red Rock Job Corps Center, and director of the touring Holocaust Education play Dear Esther. After moving to Charleston, Linda was Artistic Director for Edgar Allen Poe: Back From the Grave. At SOBT she has performed in Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Laundry & Bourbon, and The Sisters Rosensweig and directed The Playboy of the Western World and It’s Time To Bring Back Charlie.