BILL BURFORD founded Bloodstone Theatrical in 2011 with a group of NY actors to explore new ways to interpret and portray character. He has freelanced as a stage director for many years in New York, California, his native Texas, and since 2019 in Maine. In Sag Harbor, NY he served as general manager for Bay Street Theater, a LORT C company producing shows with leading West End and Broadway artists, presenting national touring artists in comedy, musical concerts, plays for adults and children, film programs, as well as humanities speakers and discussions. At Bay Street he also taught playwriting, and helped Emma Walton Hamilton establish a still-outrageous playwriting residency for fostering writers in their teens. At the Strand Street Theater in Galveston's historic district, Bill produced and directed new plays, classics, musicals, dance projects, and revues, and presented music, theater, and dance. He wrote, directed, and fully produced a musical and a revue, each centered on a significant local figure, developed a creative process program for youngsters taught by advanced professional artists, and curated an ongoing art film series.
More recently he produced and directed Peter Weiss' rarely seen Night with Guests at the New York International Fringe Festival. He directed Je Christine, translated and adapted by Suzanne Savoy from the works of international poet, writer, and women's advocate Christine de Pizan (1364-1429), now touring out of NYC. He also taught playwrights through Stony Brook University's MFA Creative Writing program in Southampton and Manhattan, Southampton Writers Conference, and most recently coached stage writers both at the Guild Hall of East Hampton, NY and independently in Belfast, ME. He collaborated at Dumbo's Brooklyn Pearl recording studio with Trevor Vaughn, Omar Zubair, Vanessa Walters, Will Connell, and other cultural BASE jumpers on The Shake-Up, a podcast series re-imagining mortality and the supernatural in Shakespeare's plays. A member of the national Society for Directors and Choreographers, Bill directed Eric Micha Holme's Falls for Jodie - a study of John Hinckley, Jr. prior to his attack on Ronald Reagan - for the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY.
In early July, 2019, Bill and his main squeeze moved their base to Belfast, Maine to be closer to their sons, and by spring of 2020 was directing his adaptation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People for Belfast's Midcoast Actors Studio (now rebranded Midcoast Theater Company). Nailed by the pandemic after half of the planned rehearsals, the Enemy company eventually re-appeared online as one of the first new, full-length virtual theater performances in the region. His direction of Lucas Hnath's Doll's House Part 2 for New York's Hampton Theater Company waits in the wings for a cue from COVID19's exit, and he starts rehearsing his own Lady Odivere for tour in New England and beyond as soon as the infectious dust settles.
Suzanne Savoy's radical touring show on feminine intelligence
John Drew Theater of Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York
February 2019 to March 2020
Directed a new play on the mainstage in Spring 2019: Eric Micha Holmes' Falls for Jody, a portrait of young John Hinckley, Jr.'s descent into racism, sexual obsession, and gun violence in the months prior to his attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan. I have coached a table or two of playwrights for the John Drew Theater, and directed for its JDTLab performance development series. Playwrighting workshops are expected to resume once the pandemic recedes.
Midcoast Theater Company
Directed Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and adapted the script from its first English translation for what is now Midcoast Theater Company (formerly Midcoast Actors Studio). Set for opening April 10, 2020, but rehearsals ended in March due to COVID-19. In April/May the original company recorded the whole play on Zoom, despite a host of tech issues. May/June saw edits of the recordings, with all five acts released in June at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHGIzwfS_iPObbC-W3AKFKtngIDD3Tsc1.
I currently serve on Midcoast's board, advising on the company's 10th Season evolution as both producer and presenter, and helping prepare its move into a permanent home in downtown Belfast's historic Old Courthouse.
Served as director for many shows, classic and contemporary, with actress/writer/translator Suzanne Savoy, and worked on projects developing scripts, shows, companies, as well as preparing writers, actors, and others for work in stage and film production. We founded Mercury Studio, a training center for stage, film, television, comedy, and voice actors which went on to serve Houston's stage and media scene for over 20 years. We partnered from 2011 through 2014 on Bloodstone Theatrical's NYC actor-coaching workshops, helping actors find new ways to interpret and play character. Trained originally in design, Suzanne did both costumes and graphics for my production of Peter Weiss' Night with Guests in 2015, a show designed to "tour in place" at the NY International Fringe Festival. Through 2016-2017 I served as director and script consultant for her one-woman touring show on trailbreaking humanist author Christine de Pizan (1364-1429). Je Christine (www.JeChristine.com) continues to tour out of NYC in the US and Europe.