Artist Spotlight

Anna Hainze

How does one go from a childhood spent “drawing pictures and singing along to Sondheim original cast recordings” to directing and producing this year’s sold-out LUMP production of Cabaret? David Hanzal, who has run this self-same gauntlet from shy youngster to talented student director, attributes his success in the theatre world to Annette Thorton, one of Lawrence’s most beloved fellows, “.if it wasn’t for Annette, I probably wouldn’t be a theatre major or an aspiring director.Annette started me on a thought process that has helped me further delve into and develop my artistic and spiritual identities,” said Hanzal.
If you saw Cabaret in Cloak Theatre, you know that while being an incredibly well put-together, well-acted and overall excellent show, it was also highly provocative in ways that some productions of Cabaret don’t dare to be. Senior Hanzal chose it for precisely this potential for provocation. “I chose Cabaret because it is a musical that forces the audience to ask a lot of difficult questions.I want the theatre that I direct and produce to be provocative, to be political, to challenge the audience and push people’s buttons.” It did indeed challenge the audience, take it from me.
But why direct and not act? Though he did get his start acting in “schticky community theatre,” and played an impressively glittery “Moon” in this winter’s Blood Wedding, it turns out that his true passion lies in behind-the-scenes pursuits. Said Hanzal, “I am, at the deepest heart of my spirit, a storyteller, and feel that by working as a director, I have a larger freedom to say what I need to express as an artist.”
After Lawrence, David will be keeping busy with such theatrical endeavors as serving as assistant director for Minneapolis’ Jungle Theatre production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, taking classes in physical theatre and applying to masters programs.