I’m calling all the shots tonight, I’m like a loaded gun

My big project for the spring has kicked into full gear.

Rehearsals start next week for ImprovBoston’s Comedy Lab show for April 2010: Discount Shakespeare: As You Like It In Forty-Five Minutes. I held auditions the Sunday and Monday after New Year’s, watching 30 people try out for 10 roles. Rachel V. and I whittled the cast down that Monday evening, over a bottle of red wine and a sea of headshots.

This is my first full directing project since Dial [Ankh] For Murder in college. I think I’ve learned a lot since then – most importantly, how to unclench a little and not make people cry – but I’m still a little nervous. Fortunately, I’ve prepared a checklist of crucial steps to directing a good show, and I think I’m hitting most of them.

  1. Secure Rehearsal Space Early. Boston’s a theater-heavy town, so if you don’t have a studio that can accommodate a dozen people early on, you’re not going to find one. Fortunately, IB and other locals have been generous.

  2. Use The Internet. How did people produce shows before Google Calendar, Google Groups and Google Docs? Did they use Sharepoint? Microsoft Outlook? Lotus Notes? I can’t imagine those working nearly as well.

  3. Do Your Own Publicity. ImprovBoston’s a great venue, and part of a thriving artistic community, but their budget’s limited. Fortunately I have access to a lot of different soapboxes. And I’m pretty shameless about promoting shows, like the one I’m directing, Discount Shakespeare: As You Like It In Forty-Five Minutes, premiering on Wednesdays this April at ImprovBoston.

  4. Relax. Better shows have come together on smaller budgets at the last minute. You don’t need absolute control over every detail. Especially when you’re working with grown-ups instead of college kids; that helps tremendously.

  5. Pick an Assistant Director Who’s Your Opposite in Key Aspects. Rachel gets calm when I get fidgety, inquisitive when I get naive, probing when I get blase, and enthusiastic when I get tired. She’s not all of those things all the time, mind, but she seems to live on a cycle opposite me. Which will help.

  6. Have Fun. It’s a community theater adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy, not Operation Overlord. Enjoy yourself, Professor.

I think that covers it. If I missed something, let me know so I can start panicking.


2 Responses

  1. First of all, Operation Overlord? Sounds like my cup of tea. How can you say that wouldn’t be fun?

    Second, not making people cry is a good thing. Except when it isn’t.

    Third, dammit now I rally want to see this. I CAN’T come to Boston for a Wednesday show in APRIL, sir.

  2. […] Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: drinking, friends, introvert, yelp « I’m calling all the shots tonight, I’m like a loaded gun […]

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