"Film is a fact, what you see doesn't change," she said. "I cherish film, but I don't think there's that meeting place."
Next for Rice is collaboration with Berkeley Repertory Theater involving a cabaret artist named Meow Meow, who the director worked with in 2011 on a stage adaptation of the film "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." Then it's back to Cornwall for a new piece with Kneehigh later this summer.
Some directors don't enjoy supervising revivals, but in the rehearsal rooms beneath the Wallis stage, Rice seemed as excited about the process as before her Broadway debut in 2010.
She emphasized that the handcrafted feel of Kneehigh's productions are what appeals to audiences and keeps her interested: "I would say that it's pretty settled now, the show is, although the girls have just worked out a new, very funny routine with the tea pot this morning. No one's seen it before.
"We don't create product," Rice added. "It's not like we have say, 'It's done.' Which I have to say, on Broadway, was a challenge because they literally call it 'freezing the show.' They say, 'This is when the show is frozen.' Now that is an impossibility — in life, in art, and certainly in Kneehigh. Nothing freezes."
'Noel Coward's Brief Encounter'
Where: 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
When: Through March 23. Tues-Fri 8 p.m. Sat 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.Sunday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Contact: (310) 746-4000 or thewallis.org