Some directors assert their idiosyncratic visions atop any material they touch; others acquiesce gallantly to the specific needs of each source. As artistic director of Zoetic Stage, Stuart Meltzer exemplified the latter approach during his company's eclectic 2016-17 season. From plays to musicals, solo shows to bustling ensembles, world premieres to established classics, this gracious chameleon helmed projects that were as divergent as they were unassailably difficult. He created a benchmark style for Michael McKeever's gripping premiere After by staging the play's domestic tête-á-têtes like verbal boxing matches of advances and retreats, parries and thrusts. He lovingly revived Stephen Sondheim's challenging Sunday in the Park With George like a master painter himself, creating a sustained celebration of color, art, and life. With !Fuacata!, he developed an exactingly produced one-woman show from scratch and guided Elena Maria Garcia to a performance that felt like a career summation. He finished the season with Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, finding both the humor and devastation in this patience-demanding experiment while using the many hidden treasures in the staggering set design. In each case, Meltzer exceeded the show's herculean standards with the illusion of ease.