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Richard Short, TITI Writer-Director Q&A

Please introduce yourself and share some career moments that you’re most proud of.


Richard: Richard Short. Mary Kills People, Tragedy of Macbeth, played Richard Burton in the world premieres of Lawrence Wright’s CLEO


I have a rather exciting project about to open in the UK in September. A play which I’ve co-written and produced. It’s called Two Of Us and I’ll be playing Paul McCartney. 


You got your start in theater. Did that play a factor in your admiration of Shakespeare or did the admiration come first? What led you to pursue acting?


Richard: An admiration of Shakespeare came first. The words. The literature. The poetry. There’s a reason we’re still telling these stories 500 years later. I started in acting because I moved around a lot as a child. Always having to be chameleon like in order to fit in. 


Obviously for TITI, you’re serving as Writer and Director. Do you plan to have any on screen presence for this film or will writing and directing be plenty to keep you busy?


Richard: No, I recently read the role of Aron Noire in a staged reading of the film but that role will be played by a French actor, ideally. This isn’t a performance piece for me. 


Could you describe the different ways you approach a project as an actor vs when you’re in the position(s) you’re handling for TITI?


Richard: Sure, as an actor it’s a more filtered approach. Myopic almost, selfishly so. To understand and empathize with one character’s actions. As a creator, of course you have to look at everyone’s track and explain every action and reaction. 


Now how did you decide on reimagining Titus Andronicus into what TITI will be? I remember hearing Lyriq Bent talking about how you and him were throwing around a few other works by Shakespeare before settling on Titus Andronicus. What led you to settle on that particular play for inspiration?


Richard: Honestly, I wanted to see Lyriq in a role that would stretch him and fully display his abilities. Othello was discussed, of course, but felt obvious and I wasn’t sure if I could bring any new discussion to that story. Titus is a whole other beast. A faulty play. I honestly think this version is better than the original!


What’s the most exciting aspect of this particular film and what do you anticipate the challenges will be?


Richard: The most exciting aspect is watching people’s reaction to quite how different this version of the story will be. The challenges will be turning the traditional perspectives upside down. Almost entirely actually. 


Getting more into the macro for a second, what was the reasoning behind bringing TITI to reality through Mogul Productions? What about Mogul made you feel they were a solid partner in this endeavor?


Richard: Speaking to Mogul, I found a fresh approach. The old conservative ways of film development, financing, and distribution are increasingly difficult for any project outside of the studio or streamer system. Mogul offers a more contemporary and innovative way of looking at things. 


Do you think that the film industry is ready for some healthy disruption, and if so, do you see TITI as something that could represent that both from a narrative and cinematic standpoint, but also as a result of the way it is being developed?


Richard: Very much so. That’s precisely what TITI needs. A brave team unafraid to announce new art in a new way. It’s precisely what Lyriq and I are hoping to do alongside Mogul. The film industry isn’t just ready to be shaken up, it’s positively crying out for it. It’s actually necessary. 


If there’s anything else you want to add, do so now, but really can’t wait to see what you create with TITI.


Richard: TITI may be something new to you as an audience. Please don’t be afraid of it and try to see what it’s saying. You’ll find that it’s incredibly relevant and I guarantee you’ll feel something.