Intimacy director/choreographer allows actors at TCR to be more comfortable during intense scenes

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - At any local production, audience members see the many on-stage roles that go into the show’s success. But there’s one backstage role that’s arguably just as important. Almost two years ago, Carrie Pozdol was cast as intimacy director.

“I come into the show and I help the actors establish their boundaries and then help them stage using neutral language in actual choreography just like dancing or fighting,” she told TV-9.

It’s not just during the intense scenes that her input is used. Any time two or more actors have an extended embrace, or physical interaction, Pozdol steps in.

She’s clocked in nearly 70 hours of training, all for the betterment of these productions and the actors.

“We can get a lot more interesting, in-depth work if we can have a consent-based environment and respect people in the space instead of making them feel like they are disposable,” said Pozdol.

For seasoned performers like Jason Millsap, it’s a change from what theater was like when he first started.

“When I was coming up it really was just kind of like, if you had to do any sort of intimacy on stage then go for it. There wasn’t any thought or process behind it,” said Millsap.

It’s been a welcome change, at that. In his upcoming leading role in Cabaret, he says he’s very appreciative for the added direction.

“We can be more comfortable just experimenting and really, truthfully living in our character,” said Millsap.

“It really is just so fulfilling to see people who have never considered, never thought that they could consider what they’re comfortable with and what they’re not comfortable with,” said Pozdol.