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FIVE MINUTES WITH... Next Up Director Jaclynn Jutting

by Ann D. Shapiro

Anna D. Shapiro: why is this an important story to tell? Jaclynn Jutting: Animals Out of Paper is filled with beautiful origami, but the story, what Ilana, Suresh and Andy are struggling with in the course of the play is something we all know. This play is for all of us who have been in a dark hard place and have lost someone we love. as: what do you think is your greatest challenge in approaching this piece? jj: Well, I’ve never directed in the round before. I’ve always wanted to. So that should be fun, and I think the result—that we end up being in Ilana’s studio with her, amid the origami and her memories—is worth it. as: how is this production connected to your work over the last three years? jj: It’s funny. Apparently I direct funny plays, which I find ironic because I’m not that funny myself. Just ask Brad or Jess. Also, it deals with love, loss and that in the mundane reality of our lives, there is something a little fantastic in this world because people really are capable of enormous change. I happen to find that incredibly beautiful. as: what themes are you exploring in this production? jj: All three of these characters experience pain, which ultimately comes from loving people and losing them. This is the danger of loving, no? So, I’d say the themes in this play are: love, loss, our own complicity in our failures and ultimately, metamorphosis. as: what do you hope people will take away from your show? jj: There is a moment in the play when something magical happens, and the people onstage are transformed. I want that moment to feel like a gift to the audience. As hard as things get, we simply are not alone in the world.