Blair Cadden (she/her) is a theatre artist and educator with a passion for creating supportive spaces that foster collaboration, community, empathy, and ritual.
Blair is an East Coast-based director, deviser, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She is originally from Charleston, SC, where she was the co-founding Artistic Director of 5th Wall Productions, a scrappy theatre company with a focus on new work. Some favorite directing credits include fury (Duke Theater Studies), Rx Machina (Boston Playwrights' Theatre); Red Bike, Time Stands Still, and Polaroid Stories (Boston University); Spring Awakening and Crazy B*tch (5th Wall Productions); and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Flowertown Underground). She holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University.
Blair is currently in residence at Duke University, where she is teaching and developing fury, a devised piece about women's rage.
Some things I believe:
I believe in the power of theatre because I believe in the power of story, community, and ritual.
I am drawn to stories that explore our human-ness in all of its messiness and magic. I am less interested in stories of clear heroes and villains than I am in stories of complicated human beings. I prefer plays that ask more questions than they answer, always aiming to tell those stories in a way that provokes an audience to keep thinking long after the house lights have come back on. I am interested in contemporary works and new play development, as well as exploring and exploding old stories in ways that allow them to speak to us right now.
I have continually found that seemingly small, intimate stories in fact have the potential to reveal large, resounding truths. And at the same time, I have found that ageless, archetypical stories have the potential to connect to each of us on a deeply personal level. I tend to seek out plays that live at the extreme ends of this spectrum—messed-up love stories unfolding in a single room, and epic myths unravelling across dimensions.
I aim to prioritize our shared humanity not just in the stories I tell, but also in the process of telling them. I believe that every voice in the room is of value, regardless of official job titles. I also believe in the importance of good rehearsal snacks and readily available coffee.
I believe that the best work frequently happens when we engage with the things that scare us; in order to make this possible, I believe in the necessity of creating brave and supportive spaces, where collaborators can feel free to risk, explore, and play.
Much of my career has been spent making theatre in strange circumstances with limited resources, and from that I have become a huge believer in imaginative solutions over technical ones. I try to bring this flexible, scrappy sensibility into every process, even when resources feel abundant, to create a world that invites imaginative engagement from actors and audience alike. I believe this sense of community is the best gift theatre can give us, and I hope to create work that invites it.