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Hi all! It’s been a while, but believe me, we’ve been busy busy busy! Nothing we can report yet, but keep tuned in. We’ll have announcements soon!

In the  meantime, we thought we’d share some theater stories. In our first “Theater Lives” series (any ideas for a better title are appreciated), we’re sharing when we first knew that we loved theater. That it was in our blood. That it was what we wanted to do.

First up is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Holland Productions, Krista D’Agostino. Take it away, Daga!

When I was younger I loved to play Barbie Dolls with my mom — I know, I know; if you know me now you might find that hi-LAR-ious and if you don’t know me — well yeah, that seems pretty standard.

The thing about it though, was that I wasn’t really interested in Barbie’s trendy outfits, her pink plastic ride, or helping her set up that dream date with Ken — which by the way, Ken, really? The two of them together look way too much like the incestuous spawn of a V.C. Andrews novel. Though I don’t think I had actually read any of those by then…oh dear gawd I hope not – Anyhoo, I was way more interested in my Joey McIntyre replica than my Ken; and mostly just not that interested in Barbie being a Barbie.

I was, however, interested in telling my mom exactly what her dolls could say, where they could move, and how they could respond to my dolls – which tended to be anything but what the typical Barbie would do. Our Barbies were destined for awesomeness. They were high divers, and aliens, with magical powers and could fly. (Probably, something like that, I was two). I set the rules and confines of our world and probably uttered “Now Mom your doll does this, and then my doll does that and your doll does this and DO NOT let your doll do that, but my doll can DEFINITELY do that” about a gabajillion times.

My mom will tell you that’s when she knew I was meant to direct…or dictate; being Italian and all it really could have gone either way. Hey, I loved it. It was the perfect experience for me to  fully create the fantastical imaginary worlds that our dolls existed in with complete control — though I’m sure it was a near “sweetie-I’m-about-to-gauge-my-eyes-out-with-dull-spoons-why-wasn’t-my-first-born-a-son-oh-isn’t-that-sweet” experience for my mother.

So, when I look back on it — I guess that would be when I first knew that I wanted to be at the helm of something theatrical. I’ve eased up since then (Hopefully? Yes! Please!? Comment nicely if you’ve worked with me before…) and now see that directing is about the facilitation of ideas and really about being a conduit. It’s certainly bigger than just me and my ideas. The best product comes from a truly collaborative and boundary-free process. If I hadn’t had those moments of tyrannical Barbie-play though, I might not have gotten to this point today.

And that same desire I felt 25-plus years ago to push limits and explore is still there. A big cheers to Mama D and Mattel for that!

Check back for stories from Victor, Lydia, and more! But until then, how did you first know that you loved theater?

One Comment

  1. That’s a tough question. Ironically enough, I started doing theatre to meet girls (I went to an all boys highschool) and because I sucked at sports. I had to do something, and I guess playing guitar didn’t seem academic enough. It’s been nearly ten years, and here I am…

    I’ll tell you the moment I realized that I was willing to jump in the fire and do theatre for my whole life: I was having a life crisis junior year of college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life when my girlfriend at the time said to me…

    “This is all you do with your spare time. You spend all of your time working on theatre. Why try so hard to find something you love when you’ve clearly already found it?”

    Something clicked then. I had never before considered the serious possibility of becoming a theatre artist. If not for that conversation, god knows what I’d be doing right now…


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