Few Washington directors have more buzz than Natsu Onoda Power, the Georgetown assistant professor whose passion for whimsy and projections transformed Studio Theatre’s recent “Astro Boy and the God of Comics” into a whiz-bang example of what local theater could be.
That wasn’t lost on Paata Tsikurishvili, artistic director of the physical performance troupe Synetic Theater. He saw “Astro Boy” last winter and promptly called the director. Onoda Power had created sets and costumes for Synetic’s 2010 show, “The Metamorphosis,” but Tsikurishvili was calling with something else in mind: Would she be interested in directing one of the troupe’s shows?
“My shows have never been text-driven,” Onoda Power says. “So it blends really well with the company’s style.” Onoda Power’s own tastes, however, are whimsical, where Synetic’s, she says, are inarguably dark. The two met somewhere in the middle.
Over coffee, she and Tsikurishvili searched for a concept, settling on Georges Melies’s 1902 silent sci-fi short film, “A Trip to the Moon,” which Onoda Power had seen in graduate school at Northwestern University. (Because of copyright issues, her dream of producing a stage version of “Godzilla” will have to wait.)