Interviews with NYC's Indie Theatre Directors


I’ve been fascinated by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for years. It’s one of those bucket list items for me. But I’ve been warned that directing there was unlike directing anywhere else. So, inspired by Articulate Theatre Company member Katrin Hilbe, and ATC friend Joan Kane, I decided to reach out to a few “Fringe-Bound” directors and find out just what goes on ‘across the pond’ in the pressure-cooker theatrical event known as Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Some of these directors are old hands at EFF and some are first-timers. Read on to delve into the minds of these Festival Directors! — Cat Parker

MEET THE DIRECTORS: (click on the names for bio and show info)

Katrin Hilbe
Martha Wollner
Joshua William Gelb
Joel Polis

Joan Kane
Scott W. Slavin
Luke Tudball
Antony Raymond
John Clancy

Jessi D. Hill
Cindy Sibilsky
Peter Michael Marino
Padraic Lillis

CP: Bonus question – what one food, drink or establishment do you look forward to trying/visiting the most?

Cindy: I can’t wait to get back to Artisan Cafe! I was there every day in 2011. Best coffee in Edinburgh, maybe the world. But better than the coffee even are the staff. You’ve never met more beautiful (inside and out) people.

Katrin: I look forward to continuing my ongoing research into the ultimate cider and going back to Mum’s, where the best bangers and pies live.

John: There’s something magical about sipping whiskey at the Abattoir in the middle of the afternoon.

Scott: Edinburgh Castle.

Peter: I always enjoyed the street food. The stand at Assembly or the tiny carts or booths that set up just for the Fringe. I ate at this little Brazilian food-stand near Fringe Central that had gluten free food and smoothies almost every day. Also, if you can wiggle your way into one of the “private” or “members only” bars associated with one of the big four venues, like the Abattoir,  you’ll be set. That’s where the action is at. Mixed with booze and fancy arts people = good times.

Martha: Last trip I visited a little French restaurant where I had one of those memorable dishes of a life time. I hope to experience it again. If not, there is my favorite fish and chips shop or the great bangers and mash joint – all waiting for me to return!

Joel: In my 2005 trip to Edinburgh, I missed the great Indian food that I gorged myself on in 1970. This time around, I’m gonna find me some really good curried lamb and garlic naan. Can’t wait.

Joan: The Dome. It was formerly an opulent bank that some drug kingpin converted into the poshest bar I have ever seen. The grungy sports bars that don’t care about theater are a lot of fun too. I’d like to climb Arthur’s Seat, explore Old Town and ride the trollies.

Luke: During the Fringe there are a million places to eat and drink and enjoy some wonderful relaxation – I love the amazing choice that you have of cuisines from all over the world. If I had to choose a top five though they would be (in no particular order)….The Peartree House – West Nicolson Street – It’s a great little pub with a nice cobbled beer garden which often hosts live music and outdoor barbecues – real sun-trap in the summer; La Favorita – Leith Walk – If you like pizza, this is the place for you. Thin and crispy, wood-fired, fresh and amazingly tasty. They also have some excellent pasta and daily specials. The Grain Store – Victoria Street – Maybe the best of Scottish food I’ve had in Edinburgh and at a great price. Simple, tasty, great value food made with local products, served in a lovely old building. The Last Drop – Grassmarket – This is a wonderfully dark and dingy pub with characterful people and great beer. Good mix of people and cheap but tasty bar food. Popular with everyone. The King’s Wark – The Shore at Leith – 15th Century pub with amazing character that serves real ale and great food amongst its low ceilings and whitewashed walls. The seafood here is some of the best I’ve had.

Check out the responses to these questions:

Have you been to the Edinburgh Fringe before?

What are some changes you’ve had to make to your production in order to take it to festival?

What makes it worthwhile for a director to have a production at the festival?

What surprises/challenges have you faced during the process?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about taking a show to EFF?

In such a dense field of theatre, how do you get your production to stand out?


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