Meet the Director – Warren Dutkiewicz

Your name is Warren Dutkiewicz, and you are not playing anyone on-stage, you are the director.

I am the director, yes.

May I ask what town you are from?


Is this your first time at HITW?

No! I started at HITW in 1989. First show I directed was Strange Snow, the first show I was in was What The Butler Saw.

How did you get into theater, and what is your background in theater?

I did a show in high school, I had a non-speaking role. Then, I started doing some local theater – Bristol Civic Theater, I did a bunch of small roles there. Then I got involved in a show in Torrington, and did several shows there. Then I came here and did What The Butler Saw. I’ve been in many shows, gotten parts that I probably wouldn’t have gotten in other places. George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Gallimard in M. Butterfly, Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, Dr. Dysart in Equus. The shows that I’ve directed here are Strange Snow, Night Mother, Proof, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and two one acts that were billed together – Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star, and Accomplice. My background in theater – I have taken classes at Trinity College in Hartford, at Wesleyan University in Middletown, and University of New Hampshire.

Why did you propose this show?

I saw this show back in 2008 on Broadway. I looked at it and I said “we can do that.” At the time I had a different set of actors in mind, but that was fifteen years ago. So, obviously, some of those actors are no longer around or no longer working or whatever. I had to make some other choices, and I think we’ve got some good choices here. The show is about a very dysfunctional family, and the kind of thing I like to do is drama.

Which character in this show is most in need of advice, and what would it be from you?

Probably Barbara. She needs to cool down, she strikes from the gut, she strikes from the reactions to things and she needs to simmer down – but she won’t.

You mentioned seeing the show in 2008 when it got the Pulitzer Prize for Drama – why do you think it got that prize?

It’s beautifully written, it touches lots of themes. The show is about a dysfunctional family, there’s a lot of arguing, there’s a lot of tempers, but there’s some very tender moments and quiet moments. There’s all kinds of characters, all kinds of people in this play.

Do you have a favorite book?

Probably not. I have a favorite recent book – John Boyne’s The House of Special Purpose.

Do you have a favorite poem?

Imperial Adam by A.D. Hope.

Do you have a favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?

Gin on the rocks.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

Lemme get back to you on that.

Is there anything else you’d like to say? Any other ventures, shoutouts?

My aim with this show was to bring back some of the older members. Like the people I worked with back when I was doing more directing here at HITW, like my lighting designer and my stage manager. I wanted to show that the old people still have it.

Appended: Imperial Adam by A.D. Hope

Imperial Adam, naked in the dew,
Felt his brown flanks and found the rib was gone.
Puzzled he turned and saw where, two and two,
The mighty spoor of Yahweh marked the lawn.

Then he remembered through mysterious sleep
The surgeon fingers probing at the bone,
The voice so far away, so rich and deep:
“It is not good for him to live alone.”

Turning once more he found Man’s counterpart
In tender parody breathing at his side.
He knew her at first sight, he knew by heart
Her allegory of sense unsatisfied.

The pawpaw drooped its golden breasts above
Less generous than the honey of her flesh;
The innocent sunlight showed the place of love;
The dew on its dark hairs winked crisp and fresh.

This plump gourd severed from his virile root,
She promised on the turf of Paradise
Delicious pulp of the forbidden fruit;
Sly as the snake she loosed her sinuous thighs,

And waking, smiled up at him from the grass;
Her breasts rose softly and he heard her sigh —
From all the beasts whose pleasant task it was
In Eden to increase and multiply

Adam had learned the jolly deed of kind:
He took her in his arms and there and then,
Like the clean beasts, embracing from behind,
Began in joy to found the breed of men.

Then from the spurt of seed within her broke
Her terrible and triumphant female cry,
Split upward by the sexual lightning stroke.
It was the beasts now who stood watching by:

The gravid elephant, the calving hind,
The breeding bitch, the she-ape big with young
Were the first gentle midwives of mankind;
The teeming lioness rasped her with her tongue;

The proud vicuna nuzzled her as she slept
Lax on the grass; and Adam watching too
Saw how her dumb breasts at their ripening wept,
The great pod of her belly swelled and grew,

And saw its water break, and saw, in fear,
It squaking muscles in the act of birth,
Between her legs a pigmy face appear,
And the first murderer lay upon the earth.