Randy Baker, Artistic Director


“Good storytelling is a sort of fearless magic act, in which events move too quickly to tolerate objection… And this is the way that director Randy Baker and the rest of the Rorschach troupe tell this story: with such assurance and commitment that the impossible seems true.”   – DC Theater Scene

Randy Baker is an award-winning playwright, director and co-Artistic Director of Rorschach Theatre in Washington DC, which he founded  with Jenny McConnell Frederick in the summer of 1999.  He is also adjunct faculty at George Washington University and a frequent guest artist and educator at a number of institutions including Theatre Lab, National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and Imagination Stage. He is an alumni of the inaugural cohort of The Playwright’s Arena, a part of Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute and recently ended his tenure as the Washington DC regional rep for the Dramatists Guild of America.

Current projects include directing the upcoming world-premiere of Human Museum by Miyoko Conley at Rorschach Theatre as well as the continued development of The Legend of Hang Tuah (A Malay epic with martial arts and shadow puppetry, developed in collaboration with Malay and Singaporean artists). Rorschach Theatre‘s 25th anniversary season is currently underway.

As a director with Rorschach Theatre he has directed Very Still and Hard to See (nominated for five Helen Hayes awards including Best Director), The Electric Baby, She Kills Monsters (and the 2019 site-specific remount), Chemical Exile: Synthesis, The Minotaur, After the Quake1001RhinocerosJBBehold!Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards  and Monster. Some recent projects outside of Rorschach include  the seven-room living installation piece, Hello, My Name Is… at The Welders (nominated for three Helen Hayes awards including Best Director), a shadow puppet gamelan-inspired A Midsummer Night’s Dream at WSC Avant BardBig Love at Catholic UniversityAnon/ymous at Georgetown University and Marat/Sade and his own adaptation of Rashōmon at American University. Some of the other companies where he has directed include The Source FestivalWSC Avant Bard, Pointless Theatre, The WeldersInkwell Theatre, Breakout Theatre, KL Shakespeare Players (Malaysia), First Draft, NCDA’s Actors Repertory TheatreWayward Theatre,  Cherry Red Productions, Catholic University, American University, Georgetown University and Young Playwrights Theater as well as a number of shows with teen actors at Imagination Stage and Theatre Lab.

Plays he has written and had produced at Rorschach Theatre include the recent world premiere of Forgotten Kingdoms (2017), a play about a missionary in Indonesia whose life is changed forever in one supernatural night while he tries to convert a man who will not be converted; Truth & Beauty Bombs: A Softer World a project co-written with four other playwrights and inspired by the web comic A Softer World; the full-length plays Dream Sailors and After the Flood; as well as a number of short plays. Also at Rorschach Theatre he collaborated with multiple artists at Rorschach Theatre to create the groundbreaking city-wide immersive “Psychogeographies” projects, Distance Frequencies and Chemical Exile as well as the two found space projects Thesmophoria and Six Impossible Things.
Other produced plays include the full length plays Circus of Fallen Angels at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, wild42hold at George Washington University, an adaptation of Rashōmon at American University as well as a number of short plays at numerous other theatres. Two plays written for teen actors were developed and produced for Theatre Lab including Between Days – a play about American expat teens growing up in Singapore – and Medea: A Teenage Revenge Tragedy.

Readings and workshops of plays include the ongoing development of The Legend of Hang Tuah which was originally commissioned and developed by Pointless Theatre, and had subsequent workshops in Singapore with Nusantara Theatrics and in Malaysia with the KL Shakespeare Players in collaboration with Masakini Theatre; The Burning Road which was developed at Arena stage and had a reading in the Kogod Cradle; Forgotten Kingdoms which has received readings at National New Play Network, Kennedy Center Page to Stage festival, Inkwell Theatre, The Arts Club of Washington, Jakarta Players (Indonesia), Wordsmyth Theater (Houston) and the National Newborn Festival at MTWorks (New York) where it won the Audience Choice Award; Monastery which was developed through Theater J’s Locally Grown program and received a public reading; Circus of Fallen Angels which was commissioned by and performed at the National Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and received a workshop production at American University;  Gilgamesh which received a staged reading at Rorschach Theatre and Vox which was developed at Theater Alliance.

Upcoming projects include directing a revival of Rorschach Theatre’s She Kills Monsters with site specific elements and an adapted story line; directing and writing a new play, Wolves in the Lion City (A commissioned piece for the teens at Theatre Lab about American teens growing up in Singapore); and directing and adapting The Legend of Hang Tuah (A Malay epic with martial arts and shadow puppetry) to premiere next summer at Pointless Theatre. Rorschach Theatre‘s 20th anniversary season is soon to be announced.

The son of educators and the grandson of Pentecostal missionaries, Randy grew up overseas, mostly in Singapore and Malaysia where his family still lives. He attended the University of Richmond before moving to Washington DC in 1997 and currently lives in Takoma Park.  He received his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.

More information can be found at randybakerdc.com.

FORGOTTEN KINGDOMS / Photo: DJ Corey Photography