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Wesley Doucette

Wesley Doucette Wesley Doucette is a New York based director/choreographer currently getting his Masters in Theatre and Culture at the Université d'Avignon. Recently he worked as assistant director on Masterworks Theatre Company's inaugural production of "The Glass Menagerie." His director credits include Tiny Rhino, "The Rite of Spring," a studio production of Brecht/Weill's "The Threepenny Opera," and the medieval morality play "Everyman." He is currently undertaking a new iteration of "Everyman" which enjoyed a development presentation at Dixon Place. This production will be performed upstate in 2016 under the artistic mentorship of world renowned dance/theatre artist Maureen Fleming. He is also stage manager for Maureen Fleming Company. He writes for The Andygram Blog and is a frequent contributor to The New York Theatre Review. He was a member of The Orchard Project's apprenticeship, "The Core Company," in 2013.



BWW Review: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance by Marcia B. Siegel
July 6, 2020

Assigning shape and motivation to New York-based dance institutions can be a sisyphean task for the historian. Many are maddeningly haphazard, the aesthetic shifts incredibly jarring, and the community networks so unorthodox that, to the untrained eye, it can feel like the artistic equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall. In 'Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Harp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance,' Marcia B. Siegel expertly reads direction and purpose into the chaos of Tharp's career from the '60s at Judson to her commercial successes decades later.

Olivier Py Announces Festival d'Avignon Programme Amid Coronavirus Concerns (Includes Update)
April 14, 2020

With a backdrop of (as of this writing) West End theatres closed until late May, Broadway theatres closed until early June, and the cancellation of The Edinburgh Theatre Festival in August, artistic director Olivier Py announced the programme for this July's Festival d'Avignon. The director offered his rationale to persist in terms of the event's status as a public service, which contrasts with Edinburgh's commercial theatre market. This is not an unfair distinction, given Avignon's founding as a public works project following the Second World War, and significant public funding. However, this public funding, while generous, requires significant income from ticket sales to keep the Festival afloat. Canceling the Festival would be a historic and economically catastrophic event (the Festival was only cancelled once before, for a strike in 2003) with ramifications not only for the Festival, its administrators, and its artists, but also for the outlying region of Avignon and the Vaucluse, which relies on the Festival as a source of yearly income. While any comparison would be inexact, one can imagine the fallout from canceling Mardi Gras in New Orleans. In any event, the artistic director appeared online to offer his theme for this year's festival: Eros and Thanatos.

BWW Review: Nederlands Dans Theater at New York City Center
March 11, 2020

The performers of Nederlands Dans Theater fuse exacting execution and creative ambition to create grotesque, haunting, and sublime images. Under the artistic direction of choreographer Paul Lightfoot, the company is presenting three US premieres at NY City Center. Gabriela Carrizo's The Missing Door, Marco Goecke's Walk the Demon, and Sol León and Paul Lightfoot's Shut Eye form a triptych, presenting those parts of the body and mind that resist cultivation.

BWW Review: New York City Ballet's NEW COMBINATIONS
February 10, 2020

What happens when a choreographer goes off the beaten path? This past Friday's New Combinations program at The New York City Ballet staged unique works in the repertory of four icons of the field: Wheeldon, Peck, Robbins, and Ratmansky. The four choreographers taken together offer ballets that we can view as academic curiosities, forgettable B-Sides, or explosive new dance visions.

BWW Review: New York City Ballet's THE NUTCRACKER
December 23, 2019

Nostalgic rose-colored glasses so tint few works as The Nutcracker. Its music, its images, its audience of children, either mesmerized or fidgeting in their Sunday best, have become annual staples of the Christmas season. Balanchine's 1954 staging of the ballet is its quintessential manifestation. As with all things Balanchine, it is a feat of harmonious contradictions; instead of his more academic ventures that seek to marry the aristocratic form with the fashionable modern, The Nutcracker is a practice in elegant nostalgia. Perhaps Balanchine felt this nostalgia for a Russia that was long gone; Stalin died the previous year, leaving behind a Russia that held no resemblance to the first act fete. That the choreographer was capable of conjuring these charming visions of a dreamlike childhood, while not sacrificing his pioneering vocabulary, is a testament to his genius

November 25, 2019

Throughout The Great Tamer, choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou makes his audience witness violent absences, ponderous stillness, and tender presence. The entirety of the human experience, from sublime to mundane, and from the curious to the apathetic, finds space on the stage. All of these events yearn for human connection and charm with a witty human touch. While The Great Tamer lacks the symphonic seamlessness of its inspirations-Wilson and Bausch-it leaves me wondering if the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as the surrealist menagerie on stage sets the imagination spinning.

BWW Review: AVIGNON THEATRE FESTIVAL Presents £¥€$ by Ontroerend Goed
July 29, 2019

Compagnie flamande, Ontroerend Goed s'est spécialisée dans des spectacles situés à la lisière du théâtre et de la performance artistique. Avec £¥a??$, qui peut se lire Lies, Eyes ou encore " Livre, Yen, Euro, Dollar ", la compagnie cherche à retranscrire les lois du marché financier en créant un endroit à mi-chemin entre un casino clandestin et une salle des marchés. La performance est interactive, 84 personnes sont réparties sur douze tables qui vont chacune représenter un marché financier dont les sept personnes qui y sont attablées seront les banques faisant vivre ce marché. Les douze tables réunies forment un marché international qui fluctue en fonction des transactions. Le but principal de cette performance interactive est d'introduire les spectateurs dans le petit monde des plus riches, des banquiers et des traders.

BWW Review: UN HOMME by Ultima Necat at LA CASERNE
July 29, 2019

Basée sur une nouvelle de Charles Bukowski titré Un Homme tiré du recueil Au sud de nulle part publié en 1973. L'histoire de la pièce se résume à ces quelques phrases : Constance a plaqué Walter. Elle vient retrouver George, amenant une bouteille de Whiskey. La pièce est trilingue, elle est en français, en espagnol et en anglais.

BWW Review: American Ballet Theatre's SWAN LAKE
July 8, 2019

Swan Lake is an icon, the Hamlet of the ballet world and, much like Hamlet, audiences might need reminding that it is more than images and a melody; it is a bizarre and symphonic evening-length work of poetry. ABT's production puts full faith in the breadth of this work, leaving the magical and melodramatic elements leaning more towards camp than enchantment. Luckily, the capacity of Swan Lake to present the expressivity of the human form is on full display. With principal dancer Hee Seo leading the performance as an Odette seemingly etched in glass, the centrality of Swan Lake to the choreographic art form is reaffirmed.

BWW Review: HARLEQUINADE at the American Ballet Theatre
May 20, 2019

ABT's choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, has pulled out all the stops for his earnest revival of Petipa's oft-forgotten 1900 hit, Harlequinade, now in performance at The Met Opera. Based off of the commedia dell'arte tradition, it should be the best of two worlds, combining both the

May 24, 2019

On This Side of the World, now playing at Access Theatre, has a cast that would make any production green with envy. From song to song they deliver both a technical high gloss and a go for broke sincerity. They perform with the conviction of actors who know that what they're undertaking is important and, indeed, it is. What is offered by this hour and a half long song cycle is a rare ground floor view of the lives of the Filipino community. However, this gloss doesn't just describe the technical quality of the musicianship of both the cast and orchestra, but also the manufactured sheen of the musical composition, which investigates little.

BWW Review: New York City Ballet's ALL BALANCHINE
May 6, 2019

This past year, while attending an extraordinary program at Paris's Opéra Garnier which featured the Paris Opera Ballet tackling, among other works, Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, I wondered to myself, 'Why is New York still the house of Balanchine?' Sure, it could be argued other choreographers have made their mark on the company, from Robbins to Wheeldon to Peck, but the basic machinery of the pieces and their executions is consistently Balanchine in a way that Paris isn't Nureyev. Lincoln Center is nearly as synonymous with Balanchine as Bayreuth is with Wagner. Happily, this past Tuesday's four-part 'All Balanchine' program was an excellent justification for the company's conservation of the choreographer's composition and indelible flair.

Festival d'Avignon Announces Summer Season
April 15, 2019

This month Artistic Director Olivier Py unveiled the poster for the 73rd Festival d'Avignon, which will take place in the medieval city between July 4th and 23rd. Painted by Syrian artist Miryan Haddad, the work is a vibrant contrast to the previous festival's forlorn group of melancholy, monochrome children. Exploding with energy, the painting is a dreamscape, which features a portal, framing a sunlit lake. Like the Festival theme, odyssey, it promises adventure, danger, and hope. This concept of 'odyssey' is not locked in the ancient world, but extends to contemporary experiences, particularly the lives of refugees, as well as the state of theatre itself as a journey into the unknown.

April 10, 2019

Under the direction of Ivo Van Hove, Czech composer's Leos Janacek's song cycle, The Diary of One Who Disappeared, is given a rare performance by Muziektheater Transparant.

BWW Review: NYCB Classic at Lincoln Center
February 14, 2019

The NYCB's five-part 'Classic NYCB' program, performed this past Wednesday, February 6th at Lincoln Center, featured a broad choreographic landscape. Through the work of four choreographers and spanning four decades, the evening featured not only the 'Classic NYCB,' as promised by the program title, but also a rare brand of 'Iconoclastic NYCB.' While some audiences might be nostalgic for the glory of 50's Balanchine, this evening proved that perhaps the best is yet to come and that even Balanchine did not shy away from experimentation as he reached towards artistic relevancy.

November 28, 2018

Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera (l'Opera de Quat'Sous in French) is one of those works that became the hallmark of its era. Its sound, its look, and its cynicism are pure Weimar. However, during the 1928 Berlin premiere, early songs such as 'The Ballad of Mac The Knife' and 'Pirate Jenny' landed with a shrug, and it wasn't until the 'Canon Song,' halfway through the first act, that the audience became engaged. All of this to say that The Threepenny Opera is a complicated play whose virtues might not be immediately evident to the uninitiated. The production at Avignon's Opera Confluence, as directed by Jean Lacornerie, comes in at a swift two hours without intermission. While crammed onto an over-packed stage and breathlessly paced, Lacornerie still manages to keep the action moving with style.

October 25, 2018

Avignon's Opéra Confluence is a challenging space, located some kilometers outside the town center near the TGV train station. It was recently constructed as a temporary theatre space while the city 19th century opera house undergoes significant restoration. The interior of the space resembles an exposed wood warehouse with red chairs. At the far end of the theatre, rather than the proscenium filling out the audience view, a yawning black screen fills the space, with the center third cut out for the performance. This scenic letterbox effect, coupled with the added distance made by the pit orchestra, makes dramatic intimacy and scenic delicacy difficult. Opéra Grand Avignon's production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, under the stage direction of Stephan Grögler, turned what is at times a distant screen, into an enchanting diorama in which Grögler sure-footedly welcomes the enchanting tonal and aesthetic contradictions of the 18th century opera.

October 11, 2018

On the sides and upstage a dense curtain of chains hangs, framing the dance space. It is a stark wasteland. Thankfully, choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten's fascinating movement vocabulary and exciting theatricality rescue the evening's program from becoming a moralizing dirge. The works, Extremalism and Bolero, navigate catastrophe with invention and without pity. In both of the pieces, presented October 6th 2018 at Avignon's Opéra Confluence, the effects of disaster, most noticeably physical exhaustion and emotional disassociation, propel the movement of the incredibly talented performers of the Ballet National de Marseille.

October 8, 2018

In Audrey Schebat's La Perruche a married couple, while waiting for their friends to attend a small soiree, fall into disagreement and start to analyze the nature of their relationship. This couple, male and female, don a veritable wardrobe of well-worn married archetypes. Throughout the play we witness 1950's dynamics, 1990's sitcom banter, what feels like an allusion to A Doll's House, and contemporary technology. These masks, coupled with little analysis of social circumstances that somehow brought them to this state in 2018, create a loss of dramatic intimacy. However, actors Arie Elmaleh and Barbara Schulz are superb as they emit heat and passion within the artifice.

September 24, 2018

Our heritage might define us, but it doesn't get to define itself. Over the past decades we've witnessed as heroic archetypes turned dated, or even villainous. We've watched as the emotional collateral of a masculine old guard has been given a platform. From this vantage point such voices have shifted the focus from the passions of privileged men, to the scars of those left in their wake. Fool For Love by Sam Shepard is an aggressive portrayal of this passing. The play's location, a motel in the once wild west, is the embodiment of this contradiction: quotidian mediocrity, and mythic Americana. The Parisian Compagnie du Vingt-Trois withholds not a drop of the emotional intensity of this piece in their performance at Avignon's Pixel Theatre.