I am a writer-director working primarily in contemporary opera. My productions have been commissioned by European theaters like the Bavarian State Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In addition to my work for the stage, I have made two virtual reality experiences (Duisburg Philharmonic) and a short film (Düsseldorf Symphony Hall). Currently I am writing a virtual reality chamber opera for the Augsburg State Theater together with composer Hauke Berheide supported by the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and the Liz Mohn Foundation.
My path into opera was somewhat indirect. After completing a B.A. in History & Literature at Harvard, I received a Fulbright to train at the Berlin Volksbühne where I apprentice-directed for René Pollesch, Sebastian Baumgarten, and Chris Kondek. Over the next decade, I wrote and directed my own productions while pursuing a joint-doctorate in Cinema & Media Studies and Germanic Studies at the University of Chicago. These unlikely stopovers cultivated the artistic values at the core of my work today:
1. Technical precision. (I don't like trash.)
2. Poetic intuition. (I don't like realism.)
3. Critical rigor. (Art is not a means of self-expression, but an alternative means of expressing ideas.)
My commitment to new work occasionally takes the form of institutional intervention. From 2015-2017, I convened Transatlantic exchanges for artists and arts administrators in Chicago and Munich on the topic of new work development. In 2018, composer Hauke Berheide and I co-founded New Opera Dialogues, an artist-led platform to promote international dialogue about aesthetics and best institutional practices for contemporary opera.
I also write about opera, performance theory, and Transatlantic issues for academic journals, trade magazines, and newspapers. These texts can be found in the "THEORY" section of this site.
For more information about me, please consult my C.V. Otherwise, feel free to peruse the medial traces of my work below.
WINDY CITY - TONHALLE DÜSSELDORF (FILM)
Conducted by Mark-Andreas Schlingensiepen
Starring Darling "Shear" Squire
Written & Directed by Amy Stebbins
Music by Hauke Berheide
Editing by Christian Hill
Photography by Lukas Rehm & Christian Hill
Costumes by Katherine Stebbins
HAMLET / AMBLETO - THEATER FÜR NIEDERSACHSEN
Music and Libretto by Fredrik Schwenk
Conducted by Florian Zieman
Stage Direction Amy Stebbins
Set and Costumes by Anna Siegrot
Video Elisabeth Köstner and Lars Neumann
Dramaturgy by Jannike Schulte
with Neele Kramer, Yohan Kim, Felix Mischitz, Eddie Mofokeng,
Sonja Isabel Reuter, Julian Rohde
and the chorus of the Theater for Lower Saxony
led by Achim Falkenhausen
SCHÖNER WOHNEN: EIN ABSTELLKAMMERSPIEL
Text & Direction by Amy Stebbins
Music by Sir Henry
Set & Costumes by Belén Montoliú
Video by Valle Döring
Choreography Marie-Christine Zeisset
Dramaturgy Änne-Marthe Kühn
with Daniel Sellier, Claudia Renner and Sir Henry
NEW OPERA DIALOGUES is an international platform for opera creators and producers to discuss, debate, and dialogue about contemporary opera aesthetics as well as best practices for new work development.
THE CHICAGO-MUNICH THEATER EXCHANGE was a series of Transatlantic exchange between theaters in Chicago and Munich on the topic of new play development. Participating institutions included: The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, Goethe-Institut Chicago, and the Bavarian State Theater.