The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland has hired a resident Intimacy Director. It is the first regional theater company to hire someone to make sure actors are comfortable during intimate scenes.
Sarah Lozoff says her job is similar to being a fight choreographer. Her task is to create scenes that are believable and can be repeated.
“My job is to literally choreograph the intimacy that we will see on stage. The physical intimacy. So that it is teachable. So that it is repeatable. And so that it is sustainable”
Lozoff says she makes sure actors set boundaries and get consent for each step along the way while working to realize the director’s vision.
Until recently, intimacy direction was such a new practice in the theater that hiring someone to choreograph sex scenes was rare. The #metoo movement has increased awareness and the Shakespeare Festival management decided it was time to dedicate funding to the position.