Best Director (2007)

Kim St. Leon for The Faith Healer at Inside Out Theatre

Good directing is like alchemy: It is the trick of taking disparate, unknown elements and fusing them into a whole that not only makes sense but equals more than the sum of its parts. Kim St. Leon did this as well as it's ever been done with Inside Out Theatre's production of The Faith Healer. She had help, obviously — three actors who saw straight through to the soul of the piece — but she's the one who must be credited with the bravery and smarts it required to stake her production's success on the small clutch of intangibles allowed her in the story's anti-narrative. It was the way a pedestrian anecdote was made to seem monstrous through a slight change in Sandra Ives' vocal timbre or the way the slow lift of Loreena McKennit's cheesy synth-Celt muzak framed the last scene, when Stephen J. Anthony's titular faith healer was ready to ascend into heaven but looked ready to burst into flames. An event like St. Leon's The Faith Healer is something akin to a vision: both impossible to deny and impossible to explain. The great mystery isn't what it meant but how she managed to explain it to the actors in the first place.


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