The Official WL Studio Theatre blog

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I've Done It

No really, I have. I have stepped up to the plate, looked the pitcher square in the eye and hit the ball out of the park. Or, maybe I've struck out. But I don't think so. It's a home run, at least, maybe a grand slam.

Alright, enough with all the baseball analogies. What I've actually done is cast "Ravenscroft". It's that murder mystery by Don Nigro I was telling you all about.

And it was hard. Very hard. I had great actors audition, and I was not able to cast all of them, and it was heartwrenching. There they were, these skilled individuals, giving me their best performances. Pushing themselves into uncomfortable places during improv, working alone on monologues. Going above and beyond, just to be a part of this play. My play. And I had to tell some of them yes, and some no. And all very arbitrarily. There is no form to fill out to cast actors by, no magical checklist to go through and say that this is the exact right one. No computer analysis of voice and movement. No pyschiatric tests to read their innermost thoughts about their commitment to this play, each other, or me.

Nope.

There was just me. Making decisions that will change the course of 6 peoples lives for 9 months. Long enough to grow a baby. I had some people I could bounce ideas off of, and a knowledge of the text, and I'd seen these people on stage, so had some inkling of what they could do when given time and direction. But it comes down to: I had to make a choice.

So I did.

Did it take some time? Yes. Am I happy with my choices? Most definitely. Do I wish I could cast everybody? Oh yeah.

And I have this belief that casting is one of the biggest jobs as a director. And now, I have. So, it's sit back and relax and just let them run wild across the stage and all will be well, right?

If only!

Nope, now it's guide and shape, and cheerlead and problem solve and schedule and take care of the myriad details involved with directing. But I love it. I love the creative challenge of putting the whole thing together. The coming together of lighting and set and costumes and actors and script. The challenge to think beyond the usual, to step away from how "everybody else does it", the chance to be fully involved in something that challenges me at so many levels.

Until opening night, and then, it's beyond my control, assuming it ever was within it.

So, I've cast the play. The first rehearsal is on Tuesday. We're going to read through the script. I hope they like it.

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