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Ruff Yeager, Director of “Trevor”

March 11, 2011

Ruff Yeager has been a Teaching Artist for Playwrights Project for 8 years, and has directed three plays in past years of our festival.  This year, he directs Trevor by Ben Kelly in the Plays by Young Writers festival running April 1-10, 2011 at the Lyceum Theatre.


How did you first become involved with theatre production?

I came from a musical family – we played the piano and sang.  I’ve always been drawn to performing.  My first theatre was my great-grandmother’s garage where all kinds of old clothing and linens were stored.  I’d dig out a bedspread and hang it up for a curtain and then I’d choose a costume from the many that were there.  I’d make my little brother be my costar (he hated it) and we’d put on a show!

Do you have a favorite production you’ve worked on?

I’m very proud of my collective work as an ensemble member at Sledgehammer Theatre from 2000-2005.  The collaborative spirit that was encouraged there facilitated my growth as an artist in all areas – directing, writing, composing, and acting.

What is the message you hope the audience takes away with them?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  The “It Gets Better” campaign has gone viral on the internet as a response to our society’s epidemic levels of bullying.  That’s what we all have to learn from Trevor as well – it gets better!  The play allows adults to remember their adolescent years (and to smile at them) and it offers a comfort to young people, “You are not alone!”

How does the director add to the play/help make it even better?  Is there a specific method/element you focus on?

The director brings physical life to the words on the page.  She/he brings a ‘big picture’ vision to the production and encourages the production staff and actors to collaborate with her/him to bring the vision to life. 

What is your favorite play or book?

Favorite play:  Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams
Favorite book:  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An eight year-old boy.


Trevor will be performed Saturday April 2 at 7:30 PM, Friday April 8 at 7:30 PM, and Saturday April 9 at 2:00 PM at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza.  Tickets are $12-$50; more information at

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