This was my very first time directing during the first part of the Powerhouse program in 2013. Powerhouse has an Acting program, a Directing program, and a Writing Program. As part of the first day of the program, Powerhouse brings all of the programs together in a Spontaneous Plays festival. The writers have a certain amount of hours to write a ten minute play, then the directors get 1 day to direct one of the plays. My year, we had 3 writers and 5 directors, so Program Directors Tom Pacio and Ed Cheetam asked me to be one of the directors even though I was one of the Acting Apprentices. Because we were short one actor, my show had to be altered for 6 characters instead of 7.
Because of this, I got to really work with the playwright, Emma Kikue Munson. Each director was given a style to direct their play in, and mine was Cartoon. Emily Mendelsohn, one of the Directing Mentors (and eventually my director for the summer) worked with me to give me a basic understanding of directing and what they were looking for by giving me a theme to follow.
I made the mistake of wanting each actor to read a few lines of each character, especially with Emma in the room, so we could cast each role as best we could, and that ended up taking up a bit of my rehearsal time, but in the end we were able to not only get some great characters, but I was able to bring some key “cartoonish” images to life. For a first time directing, I’d say it was a success. It certainly got me hooked on directing.