In March 2013, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to direct my last production at Leslie High School: Fools by Neil Simon. So many students auditioned for this ten-person show, that the director, Andrew Rogers, asked me if I’d be interested in directing a second cast. So, we developed two casts that would perform the same show, but on different nights. This was my first experience casting, and I loved it. Auditions are always one of my favorite parts of a show, but I loved casting because it was the first step to shaping my production. I ended up being in charge of a younger, less-experienced cast, but I was up to the challenge. We held rehearsals almost every weeknight, and I got to work directly with the actors and help them develop their characters. This was my first experience in understanding the coordination that has to happen between actors, stage crew, costumes, set construction, makeup, and administrative tasks. The truly fascinating result of this production was seeing both casts perform. Though both casts were using the same script, the shows were completely different in regards to timing, blocking, and vision. At the end of the production, I truly got to see the influence that a director has on the production. I owe the cast and crew of Fools for helping me to realize and to pursue my love of directing.
Photo credit: Jessica Croel, Leah Tremaine, Steve Klein, and Kevin Willett