Director's Chair - A Chat with The Prisoner of Second Avenue Director, Debbie Bowser
I’ve been away from theater for about 10 years, and I must say this show has been a wonderful ‘first show back.’ The cast is amazing, the crew is on the ball, and Leanne Condron, the Assistant Director, is awesome. It’s truly been a joy to be part of this production.
For me, the worst part of any production is casting. I can easily cast some parts with no problem. But it seems that every show has at least a couple parts that can be filled by multiple actors because they are equally talented. That’s when I sit down and analyze the character and see which one ‘fits.’ If that doesn’t work, I try to see who had the best chemistry with the other actors. Then comes call backs. Finally, I can make a decision on the direction I’m going with the play. Whew! The weight is finally off my shoulders and the fun can begin.
We block the play-determining the actors’ movements and positions on stage for best effect. And then comes my favorite part of production, which is helping the actors peel back the layers of their characters. It’s important to make the actors and characters become one-Dave Joseph BECOMES Mel and Ruthy Stapleton TURNS INTO Edna. From there, I love watching as a show develops from being good to great. Then, if you’re lucky, you see some ‘magical moments’ happen.
I have been extremely lucky with this show. Sometime during rehearsal, the shift from practice to production occurred. There are so many amazing scenes; and, the actors had their epiphany moments, merging into their characters. It came time to let go and turn over the production to the actors. I have to admit that I have actually teared up on several occasions because they reached that tipping point from good to great that I expected they could do. This show is evolving every night, and with one week till opening, I’m looking forward to see where else we can take it. I truly feel this is the best show I’ve directed, and I look forward to sharing it with you next week.
Leave a Reply.