Have you ever wondered what it's like to direct a production? Well, you're in luck! We sat down with Kathy Reid, the writer and director of our upcoming play Fight Them For The Beeches to ask her all about the role...
So, Kathy, can you give us a brief summary of what the role involves?
The director of the show has overall responsibility for bringing the play to the stage, but for me this is really about a team effort. I’m lucky to have some great people working together on this show supporting with the design, stage management and direction, plus of course an excellent cast. We are still in the early stages but already we’ve made good progress and most importantly we are bonding well as a team and having fun – which in the end is why we all do this.
And when did you start preparing for the play?
As well as directing I’m also the writer of the play so for me the process began back well over a year ago when I first had the idea for the play. I wanted to produce a script that had some great character parts, with a strong story line which would appeal to our local audience and also that was well matched to the strengths of our drama group. I’ve had lots of help with developing the script including running a couple of fun workshops with the drama group and I’m confident the completed script will give our audiences a really entertaining show.
What's your favourite part about directing a production?
I think for me it is the creative process that we go through in rehearsals as we see the words on the page turned into drama and the whole thing comes to life. In particular it is exploring with the actors who the characters are and how they interact with each other. As director I have an overall vision but it is very much a team effort to evolve how the drama is portrayed. For instance all the actors developed back stories for their characters and the results were incredibly creative and really helped us all to see the characters as fully formed people as opposed to two dimensional individuals.
And what do you find the most challenging aspect?
The director’s role is a balancing act, making sure you are on top of all aspects of putting on the play. I’m lucky that I have a great team around me who are there to remind me if I’ve forgotten or overlooked something! I think also the key challenge for me is making sure we are all enjoying what we are doing. We all do this as our hobby so it is really important that everybody enjoys what we do, and if we are having fun I know that comes across to the audience when the show goes on.
How do you work together with the other members of the production team to make sure everything runs smoothly on the night?
The key to ensuring everything runs smoothly on the night is good preparation! By the time we reach the production the director should have stepped back and handed over the running of the show to those on and behind the stage. That’s why we start the process several months before curtain up; it means we have plenty of time to rehearse, build the set, gather props and make sure everyone is fully up to speed. So good communication is really important to ensure everything comes together on the night.
Can you tell us what people can expect if they come to watch Fight Them For The Beeches?
Our aim with this production is simple, we want to entertain our audience. We know we have a play with a strong story line, some super characters, a good mixture of comedy and drama, and what promises to be an excellent set. My job now is to pull all that together so we can have the show in the best shape come the opening night on May 11th. I’m sure the audience will have a great evening so please come along and have fun – and of course you’ll be watching a world premiere production!
If you would like to find out more about directing a production with Twyford Drama, visit our Get Involved page and get in touch.