Long Way Go Down: An Interview with Director Don K. Williams

By Natasha Lewin

Don K. Williams, director of “Long Way Go Down.”

Don K. Williams, director of “Long Way Go Down.”

Don K. Williams, best known for directing Off-Broadway productions such as Turn of the Screw and Look Back in Anger, is currently directing Zayd Dohrn’s thriller Long Way Go Down at the Art of Acting Studio.

Williams got his start as an actor, unconsciously directing others’ work. “I was more drawn to the whole story that was being told between the actors and how they moved because of it. I also was the youngest of six and was a constant observer both in family conflicts and spatial dynamics.”

Mainly getting his inspiration from a script, Williams says, “Every script is a mystery. What story does this writer want me to tell and what is the best way to tell it? I’m inspired by great storytellers more than I am great craftsmen.”

When asked how Williams feels about directing a play about such a hot-button issue, he responds, “This play has given us all a greater sense of purpose and responsibility to tell the story right. It doesn’t hit you over the head with a message. It just tells the personal story of four people caught in the cycle of illegal immigration and how they deal with it.”

Long Way Go Down is different from other plays Williams has directed. “This play is really NOW, here in L.A. every day. Not often you get a chance to be on the edge of the story instead of looking back on it historically and trying to figure out how to make it present.”

Long Way Go Down will be playing at the Art of Acting Studio at 1017 N. Orange Dr. in Los Angeles from May 17 to June 7. Performances will be on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with one matinee performance on Sunday, May 19.

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