Part 3 – Rock of Ages Access All Areas: The Director

posted in: Columists | 0

I’m Amy and I run a musical production company with my friend Becky, called Ruby Red. We’re producing Rock of Ages at the Maltings in Ely this July. This is our blog. We’re giving you an Access All Areas pass to look behind the curtain of Ruby Red and really see how we do things. Every week from now until Rock of Ages we’ll give you a little insight into what we’ve been doing and each time we’ll focus around a particular topic. Follow us on Facebook or buy show tickets here.

What is *being* a  director? Just one little word, and yet, for am-dram it falls a little short. Let’s look at a few definitions…

  • “A person who supervises the actors and other staff in a film, play, or similar production” – I guess so, that’s part of it, after all those pesky actors need to be kept in check… 😉
  • “A person who directs during a movie/play or any production” – well sure, there’s also some directing of scenes, go figure.
  • “The one who gets the blame if anything they create goes tits up, even when it’s not their fault” – okay so that was a joke, found on UrbanDictionary.com…..but saying that….. we’ll come back to pressure later.

Directing an amateur theatre production is a full time job, only imagine already having a full time job. So now you have two.  In am-dram – for the most part – the buck stops with the director. The traditional set up is that the director is the visionary. They propose a show, get approval from the committee and then set off on their journey to create a cracking production. Of course they have people to support them – and it’s needed – but the responsibility is with them. Assembling your production team around you, visualising costumes, set, lighting, inspiring and supporting the cast, developing characters, directing scenes (of course), running rehearsals, and then pulling everything together into a tidy little bow right at the last minute. Sounds easy right? Ha, not quite.

So, what about pressure? “I definitely feel pressure. I feel enormous pressure to get it right. I cope with it by just going with the flow, the adrenaline gets me through, especially the week of the show”. Becky, our director for Rock of Ages, really has hit the nail on the head there. You just keep going. A love for what you’re directing is a must too, and we are LOVING this show, so that helps.

With Ruby Red, Becky and I are running things a little differently from the norm. It’s just the two of us, which is invigorating, but it’s also scary. As much as we have surrounded ourselves with an excellent team the buck stops right here, with the two of us. But we’ve done this a few* times before and besides healthy nerves our overwhelming feeling about this show is excitement.

There’s a cute little video featuring director Becky down below but this is what Becky had to say about Rock of Ages:

You are guaranteed a great night of entertainment. I am SO excited. It is an amazing show. It has all of the great rock songs of the era which you know and love, and it’s so funny. It’s probably one of the best shows that I’ve seen in a long time. The energy is enormous. Audiences will just love it – they can’t not love it. It’s just like being at a rock concert – the audience will be blown away by it. I guarantee it!”

So I guess you better buy some tickets!