I had the privilege of having my directorial debut at Reedy Point Players in December 2015 with the play Little Women. I had always wanted to direct, but the opportunity didn’t arise until 2015. I had submitted the play with me as director to Reedy Point early in 2015 for the 2015-2016 season. I was thrilled when I was told it was approved.
In September of 2015 I held auditions in a room at the Delaware City Library. I had a decent turnout – including a few new faces. The three young women who were new to Reedy Point auditioned for roles as the March sisters. One had never performed, ever. One had primarily done school productions (given the school district they were top of the line productions). And the third had a full acting resume. They didn’t know each other prior to the auditions. Yet when the three of them read for me, the chemistry was perfect. Their audition gave me that special feeling of wow this is going to be amazing!
The cast came together nicely, with only one casting change a couple of weeks into rehearsals. One of my cast members, though she definitely had experience, struggled to capture what I asked of her for the character. This young woman was challenging at times, but I enjoyed the challenge. Her considerable talent was still raw and just needed guidance. I knew I could get it out of her if I was persistent yet patient. Demanding, sure, but understanding on how to demand the performance I wanted. I believe I became a better director because of her.
The young woman who had no experience had such natural talent and easy way about her, directing her was a cake walk. As was directing the young woman with the school performance background. My fourth March sister was a veteran of this theatre and was so determined to give me her best and it showed. When it came to show time, my cast did me proud. They gave outstanding performances each show. When Beth March died, I did cry a bit. (It was the mission of that actor to ensure I cried each time she died on stage.) The audience laughed, cried and felt every emotion the actors portrayed. It was the optimal debut for a director.
LitSo, why am I sharing this now? Well tonight I had the pleasure of seeing one of my March sisters perform at Chapel Street Playhouse in The Diary of Anne Frank. Oh she has grown as an actress! I received the best compliment a director could receive from a very seasoned actor – I am one of her favorite directors.
I am hoping to direct again next season at Reedy Point Players. This time a show a little different from Little Women, to push me as a director. I look forward to that next time when I can say “Hello, I’m your director…”