A rising star among young directors and fast becoming a household name, we chatted with Aoife Spillane–Hinks director of Collected Stories which runs at the Civic 27-29 March.
Could you tell us a little about your journey into directing, and how it all happened for you?
I encountered theatre at a very young age: three years old. At the time, my mother was working as a theatre critic in New Haven, Connecticut, where I grew up. One night, she was on her way to review a play, but the babysitter cancelled. My mom still had to go to the theatre to do her job. So she sat me down and explained that I would need to come with her to see a play, but that I would have to act very grown up because many people did not like to have young children at the theatre. So we went off to the show together–an Irish touring production of WAITING FOR GODOT–and I loved it! I thought it was hilarious. I started going to the theatre with her every time.
I was lucky enough to go to a primary school where we performed big school shows a few times a year, so everyone thought that it was normal to be on stage. As I got older, I decided that I wanted to be an actor, and spent nearly all of my free time performing in plays or taking drama classes. When I was 17, my acting teacher said to me: “You’re a director.” As soon as I heard that, it made sense. Ever since that time, I’ve directed plays.
If you hadn’t been in ‘showbusiness’, what would you have done?
I honestly don’t know. Probably a therapist or folklorist.
What is the Favourite play you ever directed?
As a director, one of my favourite productions has been The Yellow Wallpaper, which I created with actor Maeve Fitzgerald and dramaturg Tanya Dean. That was the first production by our company, Then This Theatre. I’m delighted to be working with Maeve and Tanya again on Collected Stories, another Then This production.
What do you hope audiences will take away from watching Collected Stories?
One of my favourite things about Collected Stories is how utterly absorbing it is. People who have come to see it already often talk about how they become completely sucked into the New York City world of Lisa and Ruth, brought to life with such brilliance by Bríd Ní Neachtain and Maeve Fitzgerald. Bríd and Maeve’s chemistry onstage is electric: whether they’re fighting or laughing or sharing secrets with one another, you find yourself on the edge of your seat to see what they will do next.
What is next for you?
I will be directing the graduation play at the Gaiety School of Acting, written by Tallaght native Lee Coffey. I love Lee’s work and have had a great time working with him on developing the script.
And finally, what was the last TV show you binge-watched? How many episodes did you see in a sitting?
Catastrophe! It is hilarious, touching, and true. I think I watched four episodes back to back.
COLLECTED STORIES, Monday 27th – Wednesday 29th March 8pm