Q&A with David R. Gammons

David Gammons headshot

David R. Gammons

Faculty, Musical Theater

Gammons currently teaches introduction to theater for freshmen and senior musical theater majors with an acting emphasis.

Among Gammons’ most recent directing projects include the ​w​orld ​premiere of​ ​Necessary Monsters, and the New England premieres of The Whale, The Motherfucker with the Hat (2013 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), Red (2012 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), and Blackbird at SpeakEasy Stage Company, to name a few.

What is at the heart of your Boston Conservatory teaching?

To empower young artists to find their authentic individual creative vision and voice, and to encourage true collective collaboration and connection. 

What is one wish you have for your students?

For them to discover the sustaining and renewing power of a life committed to artistic expression and engagement.

Describe your students in four words.

Present, brave, vulnerable, and generous!

How do you define today's theater culture?

Theater today is more necessary than ever. The extraordinary noise and interference from technology and mass media make the act of true co-presence—real human beings sharing space and time in a concentrated way—a vital gift and an urgent need.

What is your most memorable creative project?

I love all my babies, but it’s hard to forget directing Antonin Artaud's outrageous and "unstageable" play Jet of Blood as my final production as an undergrad at Harvard. We suspended the audience from swings in the black box, and the action—earthquakes, hurricanes, the Hand of God—swirled around them on all sides in a sensory assault.

How do you relax?

Cooking! I am a passionate home chef. I love to create and devour vegan recipes from all around the world. At any given time there is a bounty of countless vegetables filling my fridge and herbs and spices in my pantry.  No matter how late I get home from class or rehearsal, I make a delicious meal.

What's your favorite meal?

Pasta with summer heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil!

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs, PWR BTTM, Project Runway, South Park, Slings and Arrows, Jonathan Franzen's novel Purity, Michael Robbin's poems Alien vs Predator.

How do you stay inspired?

Visual art has always been a very potent contributor to my creative practice. I have hundreds of art books, and I visit museums and art galleries all over the world. I'm particularly looking forward to the upcoming Dutch exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Vermeer's paintings have had a profound impact on me.

What is an upcoming project or goal you're working on?

I'm directing an amazing world-premiere play called A Measure of Normalcy at Gloucester Stage Company right now (Oct. 22-Nov. 7, 2015). I love the electric, raw, and distinctively poetic voice of playwright Lucas Baisch, who is only 23 years old. The cast is brilliant, funny, and incredibly courageous.