Meet Samip Raval – ACT’s Kenan Directing Fellow

ACT is proud to announce the Kenan Fellowship in Directing will continue next season after a successful launch in 2015.

Samip Raval is the first of two ACT Kenan Fellowship in Directing Recipients for the 2016/2017 season. From Charlotte, North Carolina, Raval is an actor, director and writer. His regional credits include Arena Stage, Playmakers Repertory Theater, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Shakespeare Theater Company of DC; and assistant directing with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His short film, The Faucet, which he wrote and directed, screened at the Oxford Film Festival and Toronto Short Film Festival. Raval began his Fellowship in mid-August and will continue for the next six months.

The Kenan Fellowship at ACT is made possible in partnership with and support from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts as part of the Career Pathways Initiative. Recent graduates of the UNCSA Undergraduate and Graduate programs from the School of Drama are eligible for the Fellowship. ACT is one of only a few prestigious theatres in the United States to host a Kenan Fellowship.

We sat down with Samip this week to get to know him:

What made you want to go into directing?

I’ve always been curious about the various elements that go into telling a story. It’s amazing to ride the creative energy that writers, actors, and designers bring to an experience. You get to see a single story from so many eyes, and of course, your goal in the end is to be telling the same story. It’s fun getting to know what excites an actor about his or her part. What can the designer tell me about a moment in the play that sheds a new light on my experience of the story? Or the characters? It’s simply very cool!

Where are you from?

The cast and crew rehearse Bad Apples.

Charlotte, North Carolina.

What shows are you going to assist with as part of your Kenan Directing Fellowship at ACT?

I will be Assistant Directing on Bad Apples, Dangerous Liaisons, A Christmas Carol and then I will be directing a production (TBA) for ACTLab.

How have you found the process of assisting with Bad Apples?

Incredible! This team is so fearless and bold [in] approaching the material. You get to know an emotional and strangely remarkable set of relationships in this play. The actors have been brave and are staying hungry to get great performances out of each other. I think it takes a lot of sensitivity and listening to accomplish that. It’s experiential, disturbing, and emotional all at the same time. So the process has proven to be a rich and unique one.

Fun fact about yourself:

I play the violin!

You’ve only been in Seattle a month — do you have a favorite spot to go?

I’m not sure if I’ve found THE place yet, but I’ve been on a few super-duper challenging hikes—mostly out of Seattle—to Crystal Lake at Mount Rainer National Park, Gothic Basin, and Foggy Lake in North Cascades … it doesn’t at all answer your question but once I find “the spot” I’ll let you know.

What is your go-to coffee drink?

Drip coffee — dark.

Who was your inspiration growing up?

Charlie Chaplin. The power of humor.

Samip will be taking over ACT’s blog and Instagram on occasion. Be on the lookout for his guest posts! Read more on our website.


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