North Dakota native Lori Horvik is one of Theatre B’s founding members. Lori has worked in a number of capacities at Theatre B over the years, directing, acting, stage managing, and properties designing, to name just a few. She currently works as Administrative Professional at Integreon Managed Solutions, where she supports approximately 400 people on a daily basis and describes her work as “stage management for the corporate world.” You can see Lori onstage now as Denise McShane, in Slice of Life.
TB: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
LH: I’m from Wahpeton, ND. I went back and forth between school and work for a while, each time after earning a degree. I have 2 Associate Degrees from NDSCS, a BS in Public Relations from NDSU, an MA from NDSU and an MFA in Directing from Northern Illinois University. After earning my MFA, I worked in Chicago for a year before accepting a position at NDSU. I worked for the Goodman Theatre in group sales, while freelancing for the Playwrights Center at Loyola University and a small start-up equity theatre company.
TB: What is your artistry/area of expertise?
LH: Primarily directing and stage management.
TB: How long have you been involved in theatre?
LH: Since 1st Grade. I was in the Christmas show at school, my line was “Hush, you’ll wake the baby,” and then I started the cast in singing Silent Night. I’ll never forget it.
TB: How does theatre inspire you?
LH: It’s the storytelling–having the opportunity to experience other lives, cultures, and points of view. I had the chance to meet Sanford Meisner (an amazing director and acting teacher who developed the “Meisner Method” of actor training when he received an honorary degree at NIU. I asked him what advice he would give to directors, and his response has always stayed with me “Do plays you love.” Totally, absolutely true.
TB: What motivates you to perform, and what do you enjoy most about performing?
LH: An amazing story and challenging character. I have the chance to explore motivations with actors, tell people’s stories, and interpret my own sense of a story.
TB: Performing isn’t your main area of expertise, tell us about what you enjoy most about directing?
LH: In directing, it’s when the actors and I make discoveries about a story or a character and it opens up a whole new perspective on a play or character. I love those moments, I can’t sit still, I get really excited, pace and jump up on stage, it’s an amazing energy of discovery.
TB: Who is your biggest influence?
LH: Two of my professors at NDSU: Joy Erickson was an amazing mentor for many years, as a teacher and colleague; Larry Knowles was my directing professor when I received my MA; he introduced me to the work of Eugene O’Neill. In Chicago, it was Jonathan Wilson. He was the chair at Loyola and a prolific director. He encouraged me and gave me incredible opportunities, and he was an amazing, supportive friend.
TB: What is your favorite role you’ve ever played/ favorite show you’ve ever worked on?
LH: Favorite Role: Margie in Good People. She is an amazing character and I felt a true connection with her. Favorite Show: subUrbia by Eric Bogosian. Scott and I saw it in Chicago and it blew my mind. I fought to direct it at NDSU for 7 years. I finally got to do it and it was AMAZING. I loved doing shows that spoke directly to the students, from their own perspective, focusing on their issues and situations. Some people thought it had a negative message (young people without a direction or purpose in life), but to me it was a huge wake-up call. DO YOU SEE THESE PEOPLE??? DO NOT BE LIKE THEM!!!! That’s what theatre is meant to do.
TB: Do you have a favorite play or playwright?
LH: I love Sarah Ruhl. My dream show to direct is Eurydice. But her show, The Clean House, is a close second.
TB: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your artistic career?
LH: Not being able to do all the shows I’ve wanted to direct. I’ve had to compromise and I found not being able to “do the shows I love” very frustrating.
TB: Do you have a dream role?
LH: I’ve always wanted to do Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe with Scott as George and myself as Martha. I love doing shows with Scott when we play a dysfunctional couple. I think it speaks to the strength of our marriage that we can explore these difficult people and not have it affect us. It’s almost like couple’s therapy! We’ve had people wonder if it’s been bad for us, but it gives us a chance to explore negative feelings in a safe environment because we are so secure in each other. We would never treat each other or speak to each other the way the characters do, so it’s not a threat to our relationship.
TB: Do you have any advice you’d like to give to your 17-year-old self?
LH: Travel, take more risks, embrace fear.
TB: Do you have a fun fact about yourself that people may not know?
LH: Everyone tells me I should be a real estate agent. I love going to open houses and finding amazing homes. It’s a good thing Scott doesn’t really like doing remodeling, or we’d be flipping houses for a living!
TB: How many productions have you worked on at Theatre B?
LH: I have trouble keeping track. Almost all in the first five years, less lately. But I’ve directed, acted, stage managed, and designed props for many.
TB: What do you love most about being part of the Ensemble at B?
LH: The intentional family. I love the people I get to work with.
TB: What is your greatest achievement as an artist?
LH: The other B founding members and I wanted to do one show (Dinner with Friends) and we made a theatre! Created experiences and jobs for people who love theatre. That’s pretty damn cool.