Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Fault Line Theatre Aaron Rossini was recently profiled in the Dayton Daily News in anticipation of the world premier of Beau Willimon's Breathing Time, which opens on March 21!
Miami Grad Discusses His Emerging NYC Troupe
By Russell Florence Jr.
Team will present play by ‘House of Cards’ producer.
Miami University alum Aaron Rossini is excited about the evolution of Fault Line Theatre, the Off-Off-Broadway company he co-founded that will present the highly anticipated world premiere of Beau Willimon’s dramedy “Breathing Time” beginning next week at New York’s Teatro Iati.
In 2010, a year after completing his M.F.A. in acting from Brown University/Trinity Repertory, Rossini, raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., joined forces with fellow Brown/ Trinity Rep actor Craig Wesley Divino and Trinity Rep set designer Tristan Jeffers to create a troupe dedicated to socially relevant, character-driven plays.
Inspiration arose from the sheer artistic possibilities of producing work grounded in their collaborative, independent vision.
“As an actor, designer or director, you’re frequently doing work that other people have asked you to do, but there’s an element of control you feed by being a hired artist,” said Rossini, 32. “In other words, you’re working on something within the construct of what somebody else wants.”
“Somebody has chosen you, which is great, but you’re not 100 percent making artistic choices on your own behalf. We really wanted to create a container for us to work on our favorite material in the way we desired. We want to break down the hierarchy of American theater to be more egalitarian. We want to create a more detailed conversation with our artists.”
In addition to its inaugural production of “Doctor Faustus,” Fault Line’s programming has included “Frogs,” “From The Same Cloth,” “The Faire” and last season’s critically acclaimed, award-winning “From White Plains.” Last summer, Rossini attended a workshop of “Breathing Time” and immediately knew it would be perfect for the organization.
He was especially drawn to its absorbing language, which is a strong suit of the prolific Willimon, the winner of the 2005 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest for “Farragut North.”
Willimon notably received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his screenplay for “The Ides of March” (based on “Farragut North”) and Emmy and Golden Globe nominations as executive producer/writer of Netflix’s hit political drama “House of Cards.”
“Breathing Time” spotlights the universality of connection specifically concerning a brother, sister, husband and wife over the course of two days in NYC.
“Beau has an unbelievable sense for dialogue,” said Rossini, a Shakespeare fan who also admires playwrights Annie Baker, Martin McDonagh and David Rabe. “Beau is able to be both natural and theatrical at the same time. It sounds like real human beings speaking but they’re not speaking prosaically.”
“You can’t help but be compelled by the characters in the play. He makes something so arbitrary, particularly sharing an office with someone, have such consequence and cost. He really creates a lovely existential meditation on relationships in this striking play.”
Rossini, who received his B,F.A. in acting in 2003 from Miami, where he was featured in such shows as “Exit the King” and “Venus,” also says he values the university instilling a strong work ethic, which hasn’t diminished while serving as Fault Line’s co-artistic director.
“I was very focused on going to Miami and was so happy I got in,” he said. “Talent is important but hard work and perseverance is what’s required, Hard work and discipline helps you the most artistically. You have to work harder than your peers and colleagues.”
“I love my job. It’s a pleasure to rehearse, fundraise, manage the box office, and all the other elements necessary when you’re running a small theater company. You have to wear many hats but all are in support of telling great stories. But being happy with your job makes working hard very easy.”
Fault Line is still in search of a permanent home and would like to attract more seasoned playwrights, but Rossini firmly feels the emerging company is moving in the right direction as audiences become more aware and supportive of its mission,
“We’re starting to feel momentum,” he said. “Every year we’re improving and expanding at producing and getting better at fundraising and establishing a more personal connection to our audience.”
“Breathing Time” will be performed March 21- April 13 at New York’s Teatro Iati, 64 E. Fourth St., Manhattan. For tickets, call SmartTix at 1-866-527-5376 or visit www.smarttix.com. For more information, visit www.faultlinetheatre.org