Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My First Musical @ QCT

Well, last week Joseph...opened. My first direction of a musical here at QCT. We had spectacular crowds, a wonderful opening party and superlative words for the production were heard by regulars and newbies alike. I recently received a card from a long-time subscriber who said "Awesome, great, fabulous, incredible, delightful etc...Jospeh...is at the top of all QCT musicals I have seen!" What more could a director ask for?
What I want to comment on is the professionalism of all involved. We are indeed a community theatre, where we depend on volunteers to help build the set, usher for performances, serve as running crew back stage and act upon our stage.
Yet, coming from the professional world, I can't tell the difference. We have an incredibly talented pool to draw from, as is seen by not only the leads in this production, but in every role, including our talented "kid Chorus."
One of the joys of working here is our staff. Everyone involved does such a great job, it makes me look good.
So to everyone, from the actors who rehearsed 20 hours a week for 6 weeks, to the production team that created such fantastic work to every audience member that helps to keep the arts alive in Quincy, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Moving to q

Watching my plane take off as the rising sun silhouetted the Manhattan skyline; I was reminded of that brash young man who 27 years ago landed in NYC for the very first time in his life. With very little cash in his pocket, no place to live, no job, just an acceptance to a classical training program for actors in the heart of the theatre district, this intrepid youth defied convention.
I feel only a few years older than that guy, even though my elbow creaks, my neck gets tight and I need to sport reading classes in order to screw a flat together.
I was leaving that Mecca of culture for the last time as a resident of that vibrant art scene and moving to the calm, quaint community of Quincy, Illinois, where rush hour lasts from 5:05 PM to 5:10 PM. Where, like cheers “everyone knows your name”. ..where the artistic community consists of a much smaller pool of fish...where the tastes of the average patron is, perhaps, a bit less adventurous.
And yet, this town of 40-some thousand supports so much culture, takes pride in the athletic youth and works diligently to maintain the beautiful structures that proudly stand on dogwood lined streets that I once again have those butterflies in my belly-just as that brash youth did way back then!
How exciting to be able to direct full-scale musicals. To select a play that has more than 4 characters in it. You see, in the professional world where I came from, the economic reality to producing theatre was strangling artistic options. We needed to find ways to more with less. Now, I feel honored to work with such dedicated volunteers and have a staff that I can trust and depend on to fulfill the mission to engage our community through the exposure of the arts.
I can’t wait for my wife to join me so I can share with her all of the wonderful things I have discovered so far.
I can’t wait to finish casting my first production.
I can’t wait to stretch and expand my artistic muscles and the community’s sensibilities.
I hope you are all ready to take that journey with me. Hop on the QCT express and let’s have the ride of our lives!