© 2019 by Diana Wyenn

I have had the great fortune of working with many gifted writers, performers, designers, artistic directors, and producers. Here is what they have said about working with me:

"Diana is a consummate professional and a director of the highest caliber. I can't recommend her highly enough to those seeking to bring new works of theater into the world, or mounting established dramas. Diana directs with sensitivity, depth and precision."

Guy Zimmerman

Artistic Director of Padua Playwrights

"Diana Wyenn is among the smartest and most exciting directors working in Los Angeles today. Her attention to detail and background in choreography infuse her work with a vitality and an intelligence that makes the audience lean forward."

Annie McVey

Director and Associate Artistic Director of Inkwell Theater

"For twenty five years I have put myself in the position of being helmed by directors. It has sometimes been painfully compromising, and sometimes joyously liberating. And while the obvious choice is the ladder, often times you are simply stuck with what you get and must roll with the punches. It's almost fortuitous that Diana came to be the director of my solo show. To have been so lucky in her taking the reins to my words and work is the single most pleasing serendipitous moment of my performance career. Diana is a perfect example of what an actor dreams of. She is not only a gift to actor, but for a production to be endowed by the commitment of Diana Wyenn, is nothing short of a blessing. Whilst ensuring that the content she directs resonates with her activist values, she seeks to maintain that the actors voice is truly supported and realized. She is compassionate yet undeviating in her honesty. She is clear in maintaining her vision yet open and receptive to different perspective. She is imaginative as she builds from the text while being grounded in the story she works to tell. Above all, Diana is unswerving in her passion to create something amazing. She creates a relationship with the actor that in rooted in safety, trust and collaboration. In my experience, by doing this, she is truly the birther of magic.”   

 

Joshua Silverstein

Writer and Performer, Tell Me I'm Pretty

"Working with Diana Wyenn as both dramaturg and director was from start to finish a gorgeous experience. Her consistent, unflagging generosity of kind spirit and sharp mind, combined with integrity and sincere intention, let her beautifully guide me in the creating of an emotional, humorous, provocative play I'm proud to have mounted.  This enormously personal project required truth and delicacy all at the same time and Diana managed it like the most adept tightrope walker imaginable. I can't fathom the project being birthed without her. I shall be forever grateful. I cannot recommend Diana more - both for her brilliant competence and for her stellar qualities as a human being. 

Dr. Nicki Joy Monti

Playwright, Actress, Becoming Human

"I love working with Diana.  She is truly collaborative, supportive and creative in her work and always aims for something greater in the work beyond ego and beyond the individuals involved. Diana assisted me on Mass at LA Phil as well as at Lincoln Center in Geffen. She was a crucial part of the creative team as she led staging the chorus rehearsals, maintained a complicated matrix of all the individual motivations, and helped keep things on track as we knit the story together. She brought humor, warmth, and insight to the process and showed great strength and leadership in dealing with chorus stagings. I look forward to working with Diana again in the future knowing that her work will continue to deepen, reflecting her passionate and creative spirit."

Elkhanah Pulitzer

Opera Director

"Diana Wyenn is the consummate theatre artist—a powerful actor, a brilliant director and collaborator, and a passionate advocate. Quite simply, Diana is someone you want on your team, as she will help you bring your project to the next level and beyond."

Jami Brandli

Playwright

"I honestly cannot imagine creating and sharing Ceremony without Diana's partnership. Throughout the process, she was fiercely protective of my vision as a performer and writer. When I doubted the vision we had crafted together, she held firm with a gentle strength and conviction that helped deepen the piece. When it came time to stage the show, she helped draw depth, dynamism and nuance from my performance that I would have missed on my own. And her guidance of the technical elements brought the whole package to a level beyond what i had imagined when I started the project. It's rare to find someone who brings together a strong dramaturgical acumen, ability to work with performers, and powerful, creative theatrical vision the way Diana does. You should hire her."

Michael Kass,

Writer, Performer, Ceremony

"I have had the pleasure of both witnessing and participating in Diana's directing work for a decade. The depth of artistry and compassion for each story, character and team member is a rare gift, especially in an epidemic of "content" and "entertainment." As a 21st century thought-leader, Diana consistently invites the audience to participate in the evolution and experience of her work, while bringing the highest caliber collaborators to the specific creative and technical needs of each production."

 

Brendan Bradley

Actor, Producer, Writer, and Director

 

"Diana Wyenn directed my show 'The Wong Street Journal' at the Comedy Central Stage and birthed it to the next level. Whereas so many theater directors in this town can only take finished text and just tell actors where to stand, Diana understands a devised process, dramaturgy, politics, working with abstract objects and sculpting humor. She's rare, smart, and puts so much passion into every project she takes on."

Kristina Wong

Writer and Performance Artist, Kristina Wong for Public Office

"Diana's work with our students was remarkable!... Diana developed a very successful ensemble of student actors and student stage management team and she was able to do this in a very short time... Diana served as a great role model as she worked with an entirely student crew... We all look forward to being able to work with Diana again in the near future."

Sherry Linnell

Chair of Theatre and Dance at Pomona College, Water by the Spoonful

As a director, Diana has both the visual and narrative gifts to create sophisticated, compelling theater. If she believes in your play, she will be both your biggest fan and toughest critic so that you will hone your work into the best possible script. And with her talent for fleshing out the big picture of a story while being meticulous about the details, Diana transformed my script into a fully fleshed world that was thrilling to witness.”

Susan Josephs

Playwright, The Interview

 

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"Diana Wyenn has a razor-sharp sense of what both a playwright and an actor needs—which is a rare combination. Because of her breadth of experience as a director, actor and producer, she is able to approach a project from multiple angles which I really appreciate. I'd work with her again in a hot-minute."

Lisa Kenner Grissom

Playwright

"Working under Diana's direction is a dream come true for actors. Diana makes actors feel comfortable with making choices, and challenges them to do so. She encourages and facilitates deep investigatory work by her actors, which for me brought out the best parts of my Artistry. Diana is a unique talent that builds meaningful relationships with the people she works with. She has a clear vision and works with you to bring that vision to life. If Diana calls, clear your schedule."

 

Miebaka Yohannes

Actor and Acting Teacher

 

"I love working with Diana. She is both a writer's and a actor's director. She pushes everyone to dig deeper and discover more; sifting through words and narrative in table work with the cast until actions and thinking align with the text. Then she puts the play on its feet and everything flows with the purpose of the playwright's intent and the individuality of the actors persona. It creates an alchemy of artistry that invites the talents of the ensemble and the brilliance of the play to shine. She is a treasure!"

Sharon Omi

Actor

"I had the great privilege to work with Diana as my director on the world premiere production of a play that was, to me, a passion project twenty years in the making. When I came into the process, of course I thought, 'This script is perfect. It’s ready to go. Just stage it.'

Of course, I was totally wrong, but it took Diana to let me see that.

 

And the key words here are 'let me.' Or, rather, 'lead me to find.' This was the greatest part of working with Diana to develop a very personal piece. Unlike a lot of directors, she didn’t come in with her 'vision' and dictate what she wanted. Rather, her strength, a rare one, is this: She knew what questions to ask — not just of me, but of the cast, the designers, and everyone involved. And she did not come with her own answers that she was leading us to. Rather, she came with an open mind, and engaged in the wonderful process of discovery with all of us.

 

Another thing I appreciated about working with Diana is that she is very physical and visceral in her process, rather than intellectual, so she does a lot of movement work and exploration with the cast. Having a background in performance, I really appreciated this — even more so when she allowed me, as the playwright, to get into the mix and play with the actors before every rehearsal. I learned more about the play I was writing while doing movement and warm-ups and vocalizations with the cast than I could have learned from ten dramaturges, simply because she let me play along.

 

But perhaps the best testament I can give to Diana’s sheer talent as a director is that she created a family along the way. Not just among the cast, but including me, our immediate running crew, and our tech team — we came together as maybe twenty mostly strangers. We ended up as a bunch of friends who had created shared magic. All of the drama was onstage; any drama behind the scenes did not come from the intrepid troupe Diana led.

 

And, through all of that, she took my 'good enough that someone wanted to produce it' play and led me to turn it into 'the best play of mine that’s ever been produced,' not by hammering some version of her vision onto it but, rather, leading me to discover what I didn’t realize was always there in the first place.

 

She understood my own piece more than I’d understood it when we started. She let me find my way down the path to finally really getting it while never leading me one way or the other. This is what the best directors do: They do not push people to do it the director’s way. Rather, they lure people into doing it their own way because they lure people toward the truth.

 

The best directors lead by inspiration, not intimidation... or by 'directing.' Diana is the most inspirational director I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with many."

Jon Bastian

Playwright, Bill & Joan