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I've been asked to direct - Help!

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Directing
Forum Discription: For questions about handling shows, actors, crew, board members, children ...or do we repeat ourselves?
Printed Date: 6/25/24 at 1:26pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: I've been asked to direct - Help!
Posted By: AngelSong76
Subject: I've been asked to direct - Help!
Date Posted: 12/13/08 at 10:37pm
Okay, so I've been involved with a small community theatre for about two years now. This theatre has an amazing reputation in an arts community and has been around for almost 50 years.

I was asked to direct a lovely show called "Enchanted April" in the 2009 season but respectfully declined because I really felt I wasn't ready, especially not ready to do a period piece that would require accents. I suggested a person I knew to direct the show and she agreed, so I was off the hook.

I'm stage managing a show for the first time right now, "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel," (which I would highly recommend if anyone is looking for a hilarious play with a lot of heart) and the director is in charge of picking plays and directors for 2010. He approached me the other day and asked if I would consider directing something and if I had any ideas. I talked with him about not feeling "ready" to direct and he said I was crazy because he has loved my ideas during this production (he has given me the wonderful opportunity to provide lots of input into the creative process during rehearsals, which I'm loving) So he says he thinks I'm ready for it and wants my picks for shows I'd be willing to direct.

Which brings me to my question. What are some good shows for a first-time director? We can't have a huge cast because of our limited backstage space and our stage is thrust, so it'll need to be something that can be staged in that environment. We don't usually do complex sets, although our set for "Duck Hunter" is pretty amazing. Something with a simple set would be best, and our audience tends to really connect with Southern comedy, since we are, in fact, in the deep South.


Also, if anyone knows of some great resources for a first -time director, I'd love to check them out!


Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 12/13/08 at 10:49pm
Crimes of the Heart

There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.

Posted By: AngelSong76
Date Posted: 12/13/08 at 11:13pm
Oh, that's a great show! Unfortunately, we did it not too long ago, so it's out of the running. Thanks for the suggestion - keep 'em coming! :)

Posted By: Kathy S
Date Posted: 12/14/08 at 12:23am
Steel Magnolias
Dearly Departed
Dearly Beloved and Christmas Belles

Posted By: Mike Swy
Date Posted: 12/23/08 at 2:21pm
I'd suggest "Steel Magnolias" also.  Small cast, great story and LOTs of heart.

Posted By: pdavis69
Date Posted: 12/23/08 at 6:24pm
Allow me to suggest Escanaba in Da Moonlight.  Set in the UP of Michigan this story by writer/actor Jeff Daniels set out audiences on fire.  Daniels did a movie version with may of the local people from his original production.  The play is better than the movie but it would give you an idea of the humor.

Patrick L. Davis
Fort Findlay Playhouse

Posted By: tristanrobin
Date Posted: 12/23/08 at 10:10pm
"Crimes of the Heart" author Beth Henley has MANY plays that are terrific - just not as famous as "Crimes" ... I love "The Lucky Spot," "Miss Firecracker Contest" and "The Wake of Jamie Foster" - all worth a look!

One of my favorite Southern plays is "Who's Happy Now"  by Oliver Hailey - a very dark comedy with remarkable characters and a most unusual story line.

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