We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Henne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Coming from theatre, I like to think of engaging with opportunities of many kinds as “rehearsing.” I don’t mean that the stakes are low or that an opportunity itself isn’t of utmost importance – I mean instead that in rehearsals we experiment, showing up with our whole selves, but understanding that we must be willing to get things “wrong” before finding that which seems “right.” I think that this attitude of full engagement infused with a willingness to risk failure in the interest of working towards success has informed all that we at theatre dybbuk do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
theatre dybbuk, the company of which I am Artistic Director, creates multidisciplinary theatrical productions using a process that takes between one and two and a half years per show. Each of our pieces asks a lot of audience members, offering them dense text combined with precise movement, all infused with challenging intellectual and emotional material. In a world that is filled with distraction, we encourage people to focus and be fully present with the work. By fostering this kind of participation, we hope to help audience members increase their capacity for processing complex ideas and multiple perspectives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think that, especially in this time of Covid, I would take them to places that allow them to interact with the beauty of our city, while also maintaining a sense of safety. First, I would bring them to Griffith Park where we would go on a long hike, perhaps up to the Observatory. We could take in nature in the midst of this urban life and view our surroundings. Then, I would stop by a restaurant where we could get some food to take away. A favorite for this kind of lunchtime activity would be Señor Fish in Echo Park for seafood burritos. We’d then bring those to the meadow in Silver Lake, near where I am based, so we could eat together outside. In the evening, I would seek out an outdoor dance performance – I know colleagues and friends are in the process of planning socially distant activities that allow us to still be in community together. Lastly, if the timing was right, I would invite them to attend an online rehearsal with me and artists from my company in order to experience creating together in the moment.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I first began theatre dybbuk, I was fortunate enough to be in ongoing collaboration with Kate Hutter Mason, founding Artistic Director of LA Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC) and now owner of Stomping Ground L.A. My organization was embarking on our first production and I asked her if LACDC would be interested in being a co-producer on our inaugural show. theatre dybbuk was barely even a company yet and the production was a large endeavor, but she said “yes,” relying on the success of our prior collaborations. This taught me about the value of partnership and the way in which long-term building of relationships of trust can lead to success. It has also served to keep me thinking about the ways I can be of value to those colleagues and friends I wish to support as they embark on new adventures.
Photos from theatre dybbuk’s shows by Taso Papadakis