I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Paula as an actor with Mind The Gap Theatre on multiple occasions since 2007. Paula is a smart, savvy and incredibly astute director whose passion for her work is apparent throughout the rehearsal and production process of every single project. She possesses a strong, clear vision as a director without ever losing her infectious good humour, while allowing her actors to explore and enjoy the rehearsal process, and working with her is always rewarding, entertaining and unexpected. She single-handedly captains all aspects of the MTG ship - from creative to administrative - with a seemingly endless passion and determination in order to continue to bring contemporary British theatre to NYC audiences. As a British actress living and working in New York I can't think of a better company to be affiliated with or a director who champions her actors more than Paula. I can't wait to work with her again!
~ Mia Moreland, Actor
Paula D' Alessandris is absolutely the most creative and inspiring director that I have ever worked with in my years acting in the Pittsburgh theater community. Paula has the ability to draw talent out of actors that didn't know that they were capable of outstanding performances. I wish that every director that I worked with had the foresight and gift of choosing material that Paula possesses. Paula's instincts and ideas completely enhance the environment for actors. Her enthusiasm has always been contagious, and it is completely accurate to say that actors become excited and jump at the chance to work with her.
~ Marcia R. Sekulich, Actress
Paula has, on several occasions, brought to life my plays through her inspired directing and unfailing commitment to the theater. Her spirit and dedication to a project are never-ending and rare attributes in any arena, most notably live theater. One quality which has always made Paula stand out in my eyes is her passion for the theater. Paula never just goes through the motions: her keen sense of dramatic mechanics and her astute sense of interpretation shows that she has what it takes to direct a quality production. It is so unusual to see anyone pour heart and soul into a project, yet that is exactly what Paula does with every show she is part of From the most complex scope to the tiniest detail, Paula is on top of the situation while managing never to forget that she directs because she loves it. Her passion and dedication for this art form make it a genuinely unique experience for all the actors, production staff and writers involved. Paula treats all in her path with respect and professionalism. It is always her goal to achieve the best possible product. And Paula, like so few, always achieves this goal.
~ Sean Michael O'Donnell, Playwright
As the Artistic Director of the Upstairs Theatre I have employed Paula to assist and direct for our mainstage. I have found her to be quite organized, very specific and knowledgeable. She brings a "freshness" to her work and inspires creativity from those that work with her. Paula is intuitive. She sizes up a situation well and problem solves with ease. Paula understands the boundaries of a budget and responds to its realities. She is creative enough to make things work and never complains about an occasional compromise. Paula has a very good work ethic and doesn't tolerate sloppiness from her colleagues. I admire her work and consider her a respected colleague.
~ Thomas Mclaughlin, Artistic DirectorlProducer
It is essential that an actor trust their director. I trust Paula and that is why I work with her any chance I get. I trust that Paula will never allow myself or anyone on stage to look bad or make a bad choice. This frees the actor to take risks and really explore knowing that Paula will be keeping an eye on us.
~ Eric Giancoli, Actor
Paula D'Alessandris is a true playwright's director, and by that I mean she approaches the work with a fierce respect for the script's intentions. There is no grand-standing, no attempt at a "directorly" concept...Paula doesn't need them. Instead, Paula brings unprecedented insight, supreme competence, and a sincere love for telling stories to the process. The fact that she doesn't have a huge ego to go along with all of her talent is as shocking as it is wonderful; she has a fantastic sense of humor and is an all-around wonderful collaborator. I've been lucky enough to work with Paula on multiple productions, often with the same actors returning because they feel the same way I do: once you've worked with Paula, you can't wait to work with her again.
~Jessica Fleitman, Playwright
Paula D'Alessandris is an actor's director. She is insightful and open-minded, respects the written word, and gets the most from both the text and her actors. I value the time I have spent with her, and look forward to future projects.
~ Laura James Flynn, Actress
Paula is a wonderful Director and Artistic Director of her company Mind The Gap Theatre which I have worked at as an actor. She has a great eye for the delicacies in directing and is good at managing all the aspects needed to bring a theatre group to full performance. She champions new British works and works tirelessly to bring great British theatre to the US.
~ Elizabeth Jasicki, Actor
References from other theatre artists
She is an extraordinary talented theatrical director and theatre company Artistic Director and a wonderful and professional artist to work with.
~Margot Astrachan, Producer
She's very very cool, talented, and keeps it real.
~ Katie Fabel, Actor
I have the pleasure of working with Paula D'Alessandris on a number of occasions as a Mind The Gap Theatre member. She is an imaginative and talented director and a joy to work with. Her courtesy and professionalism make my job as an actor easy.
~Fiona Walsh, Actress
I have had the pleasure of working with Paula as an actor and colleague with her superb theater company, Mind The Gap. She is innovative, insightful, creative, diligent and generous. To say I highly recommend her falls short. anyone would be delighted to have her working with them in all artistic endeavors. She is a gem!
~ Christine Fuchs, Actor
Paula is a brilliant and open creative practitioner with whom I would be delighted to work again. She is inspiring, energetic and intelligent.
~ Julia Pascal, Playwright/Director/Artistic Director, Pascal Theatre Company, UK
I've worked with Paula D'Alessandris on a number of occasions as both an actor and a writer -- sometimes both simultaneously. She is a dedicated and talented director whose visions are often as unique as her willingness to listen and collaborate. Her keen sense of humor is always visible in her work.
~ Dan Remmes, Playwright/Actor
Ms. D' Alessandris has a true gift for blocking, and a complete ability to see a play in its totality and physically bring it to fruition. Whether directing slapstick comedy or subtle dramatic scenes, she truly has a sense for maximizing each moment to its greatest potential. I have never worked with a director who possesses the skills Ms. D' Alessandris has for blocking and timing: it is to most a lost art. She also has a highly developed intuition when it comes to casting: again and again I have seen her put together a group of actors who evolved into a dynamic ensemble.
~ Zoje Stage, Producer/Playwright/Filmmaker
It has been a privilege to have had Paula both produce and direct my work. She is astute, professional and a joy to work with.
~ Kevin Lee, Playwright
As Artistic Director of Mind The Gap Theatre, Paula has produced four of my plays to exceptional effect. The pieces were solidly produced, terrifically cast, and splendidly directed. The production of "Pealing Figs" garnered the play a nomination from NYITA for best short play. Paula's energy and commitment to excellent theater never flags. She has a superb eye and ear for new works, a tremendous energy, and great rapport with writers, actors, directors et al. She is a force for fabulous theater.
~ Bronwen Denton-Davis, Playwright
I have had the great fortune to work with Paula in her capacity as Artistic Director of Mind The Gap Theatre Company as well as see many of her productions. Paula is an amazingly talented director. The quality and depth of her work is superb. She is insightful, passionate about her work and brings out the most wonderful performances in her actors. Paula is professional, dedicated and I recommend her unequivocally.
~ Ruth Kavanagh, Actor
Paula D'Alessandris has managed to keep afloat both her ideas and the reality of a British theatre company, here in NYC. She has also given British actors a very safe haven and place for their ideas and voices and for that we love her, add to all this a woman of great passion for the theatre, drive, intensity, intelligence and a wonderful talent for directing and nurturing actors and you have someone who is truly a gift to the British and American Theatre or Theater!
~ Elizabeth West, Actress
I have been pleased to have the opportunity of working with Ms. D'Alessandris both from a playwright and actor perspective. In both instances, she has displayed (and continues to display) a natural ease and intelligence with a variety of material. For actors, she is a dream; ever-trusting of performers and yet able to convey direction without ever inhibiting one's creativity but, quite to the contraty, inspriring it all the more. As a playwright, it has been equally a pleasure, as she savors communication with the writer and yet possesses a natural wisdom, intuition and creativity with both new and established material that is most refreshing. She is a director with genuinely inspired vision and a most palpable love of the craft.
~Daniel Damiano, Playwright/Actor
Paula D'Alessandris is an excellent director. She is organized, professional and a pleasure to work with. She is a good listener and works extremely well in a collaborative environment.
~ Jason Grossman, Playwright/Actor
photo by Joe Schulz
I first worked with Paula in the capacity of an actor in a stage reading of Philip Gawthorne's play 'Public Display of Affection' at the Atlantic Theatre in 2006. Since then it was Paula who encouraged me to write and direct with Mind The Gap Theatre. She gave me the confidence and the space to grow, not just as a performer. Since knowing Ms. D'Alessandris, my entire world has changed. She has inspired me to create, to build on my own career and made me realise that it's better to do things yourself, rather than wait around for someone else to create it for you. She is a remarkable talent and can often be seen being director, producer, and stage designer all at once. She is the epitome of a 'one man band' (for theatre), often seen writing, directing, producing, managing talent and front of house all at once, and it is rare to see her flustered. It is certainly a rarity to experience such ability and drive. Especially considering that Mind The Gap Theatre's mission statement is 'to bridge the gap between the United States and England.' A hard task for any one person. I think all that have worked with her will agree that she is getting there and each day the two countries are pulled closer together, because of Paula's work.
~Camilla Maxwell, Actor/Playwright
Paula was wonderful to work with - she works so hard and comes highly recommended.
~ Hannah Barker, Co-Director, Analogue Theatre Company, UK
I have worked with Paula D'Alessandris on numerous projects over the past five years and can say without hesitation that she is a wonderful director. Working with Paula is always a pleasure - rehearsals are filled with lots of laughter and fun. She has the rare ability to really listen to the actors she works with, making the process a true collaboration. She is smart, witty and insightful - among a million other positive attributes - and I would work with her any day of the week!
~ Charlotte Dooling, Actress
Simply put, Paula D' Alessandris is one of the finest directors working today. She has great respect for the play script; she does extensive homework and research; she has an extraordinary knack for casting; she budgets time well; and she excels at communicating with the actors. As a playwright if I have any input on who directs my work, I choose Paula because I know my words are in good hands, and I will receive a top-notch production.
~ FJ. Hartland, Playwright
I have known Paula in a professional capacity for several years and have worked with her and Mind The Gap Theatre on a number of projects. She has always impressed me with her dedication, professionalism, strength of vision and directorial talent. Not only that, she is also a pleasure to work with on a personal level. I would entrust any play of mine in Paula's hands, knowing with confidence that it would receive a level of production that would not only meet, but go beyond my expectations. Where my playwrighting career may take me from here I do not know, but it is my express desire that Paula will always be a part of it.
~Andrew Biss, Playwright
Paula is a one of a kind director, with vision and skill and the know-how to lay down her ideas without compromising any feeling or vibe in the room, you feel constantly nurtured, supported, and inspired by her encouragement and guidance. Can't wait to work with her again! Also, Paula, is so willing to hear new ideas and let's me try things endlessly until we both look at each other and KNOW when we've found it. She strives for excellence and in that, knows how to support her actors to strive for excellence too. She has a GREAT sense of humor, which counts tenfold in this biz and in the creative process. Paula rocks.
~ Amir Arison, Actor, The Blacklist
Paula D'Alessandris is one of the most loyal and hardworking directors I know. Working with her is the most relaxed I have ever been and as a result I think I have done some of my best work for her. Her support of my career has kept me going and her love of the theater is apparent to anyone who works with her. I highly recommend Paula and envy you the opportunity to work with her.
~ Polly Lee, Actress
Paula is a joy to work with. As a director, wonderfully collaborative and at the same time steadfast in her vision; Paula has a knack for leading her actors to make critical discoveries in their own time without ever spoon-feeding or being condescending. Giving them (us) the freedom to explore with abandon within the confines of plot and character. Simply put, she's not afraid of digging through the bad ideas in order to mine the gems. As a playwright, her wicked sense of humour shines. Her work is kinky. quirky, kooky and yet always heart-breakingly human. She gets it!
Stewart Williams, Actor