DreamWrighters recently turned to our resident and several recent guest directors to learn about their “go time” words of wisdom.
DreamWrighters: Thanks for taking a few moments to share your thoughts with our audience. As a director, as you reflect on your directing experiences, what is your “go time” advice to your cast just prior to opening curtain?
ANDREA: Our Miss Brooks has a number of new teens— to DreamWrights, but also to the stage in general. Each day of rehearsal has been crammed with “teachable moments,” so we all learned a lot — everyone’s brains are full! I’m not sure there’s room for more advice. With that in mind, besides the last minute reminders to listen, play open, enunciate, and project, I will encourage my cast and crews to have fun. Just breathe, relax, and enjoy the show.
PAIGE: Listen, concentrate, project, cover, don’t break character, and have fun!
MICHELLE: Breathe. Relax. Keep going. If you mess something up, the audience often doesn’t know. But don’t miss your entrances.
KIRK: You know what you’re doing , this audience will be blown away. You’re a great cast!
RODD: I don’t put a lot of stock in any last minute speeches before a show. As a director, I don’t prepare anything ahead of time. And if I’ve made any last-minute speech, I bet it wasn’t very motivating. I make so many of those types of speeches during rehearsals, that I don’t think my casts need any more. I say, keep it sweet, short, simple, and then get out there (on stage) and knock ’em dead!
DIANE: We have ‘circle’ before each show. It’s a time to focus everyone on the task at hand, and unify the group. Anyone who’s ever done a show with me can readily share the things I have distilled from, oh my goodness, 53 years in the theatre are as follows: listen, concentrate, project, cover, and don’t break character. EVER! Those are the big five. The slightly lesser items are quiet backstage, ride the laughs and applause, don’t eat in costume, drink only water, have fun and a great grand good show! These are given to and repeated by all in one fashion or another prior to each performance just before the spin and going down to start the show.
About the Directors
Diane Crews: Artistic Director and Playwright-in-Residence at DreamWrights. Having directed well over one hundred shows at DreamWrights, Young King Arthur was her last production as she is set to retire in the Fall of 2016.
Paige Hoke: Paige is 2010 graduate of Arcadia University’s BFA in Acting Program. She has experience directing, teaching, and acting in the York and Philadelphia areas. She most recently directed Seussical at DreamWrights.
Michelle Denise Norton: Founder and Director of DreamWrights’ Theatre Under The Trees program. Along with all of her theatrical endeavors, Michelle is also a writer, artist and cartoonist. In Summer 2016, Theatre Under The Trees will be bringing As You Like It to local parks.
Rodd Robertson: Director and actor, Rodd most recently appeared in the Flippin’ Broadway musical revue at DreamWrights. He has directed a handful of productions including To See the Stars and Nancy Drew: Girl Detective at DreamWrights and elsewhere.
Andrea Unger: Making her directorial debut with the upcoming DreamWrights production, Our Miss Brooks, Andrea is a wife, mom of three boys, and grandmother of 1 boy. She and her family were introduced to DreamWrights through a summer camp, followed by her youngest son being cast in Alice in Wonderland. During that production, she and her husband offered to volunteer with set production and have been helping out in all areas of the theatre, both on and off the stage, ever since. As a family, the Ungers have been involved in over 14 shows.
Kirk Wisler: Most recently directing The Mouse that Roared, Kirk has taken part in over thirty plays from 2001 until the present day. He hopes to continue directing and acting at DreamWrights for many more years to come.