Best Director - 2000
Jason Nodler is without a doubt the best thing that has happened to Houston theater in a long, long while. An artistic hoodlum of the most provocative sort, the thirtysomethinger has tenaciously built his vagabond theater company, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, from the gutter up. And now, after many years of late-night rehearsals (which apparently required many, many beers to get through), the man has created a solid company of smart, creative and devoted folks who've worked hard enough and stayed wild enough to pique the interest of Obie Award-winning playwrights and nationally recognized regional theaters. Nothing has shown off Nodler's extraordinary vision better than his production of David Mamet's Edmond. The show, which was filled with shadowy, sophisticated pockets of rage and lust, practically burned with Nodler's demonic director's energy. His artful articulation of Mamet's strange minimalist poetry included scenes in which the primary focus became a man's graceful hand or the gloomy darkness of a skanky bar. At once painterly and highly dramatic, Nodler's aesthetic is unlike any other in town. It is just this sort of terrifying, intelligent and electric imagination that has made IBP and all its wonders manifest.