How did you know you wanted to be a director or simply involved in the arts? Was there a specific moment when you knew or did you always know that was what you wanted to do?
I discovered I wanted to be a director when I became an undergraduate Theatre Major at Rosary Hill College in Williamsville, New York.
From your experience, what should arts majors (or grads in general) do after graduating? Any steps they should take?
After graduation, Theater Students who are actors should begin auditioning as much as possible, make sure they have a resume and headshot available and acquire an agent. Student Directors should seek out theaters where they can intern as Assistant Directors and Student Design graduates should understudy with any of their current faculty working in the professional theater.
Moving on to your upcoming production, A Streetcar Named Desire, what are you most looking forward to about this production?
I look forward to working with a very talented group of students who have been cast in A Streetcar Named Desire.
This play has been performed numerous times, as it is widely known. How are you hoping Loyola’s production will stand out from other performances of this play?
All of the characters in Streetcar are older than the students in our production. But I am hoping that our students, through hard work and utilization of their acting skills, will make their audiences concentrate solely on their performances and not their ages.
What makes directing A Streetcar Named Desire different than some of the other productions you have directed here at Loyola?
A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the greatest plays written in all of dramatic literature. I am honored to have the opportunity to direct it. Every Stage Director would jump at the chance to stage this great work. So I am very pleased to have been given this rare opportunity.
What is the biggest difference in directing college students rather than professional actors? Are there certain advantages and disadvantages to each?
Naturally, directing professional actors is easier because it is a full time job for them. In the professional theatre actors rehearse six days a week, seven hours a day. In college theatre, the students have classes to take, part time jobs to work, and other department responsibilities. Consequently, they can only rehearse four hours a night on weekdays and perhaps five or six hours on Saturdays. But I do love working with students. They tend to learn their lines much faster and they are eager to learn.
How has directing theatre, particularly at Loyola, affected you? Since you have been very much involved in directing theatre elsewhere, has working here with Loyola’s students given you a new perspective about acting, life, happiness, etc.?
I have the special privilege of directing plays in both the educational and professional theatre. In addition, I am an acting and directing teacher. It does not get much better than this. I am thoroughly enjoying the best of both worlds. Everyday I am able to bring to my students what I have learned about the professional theatre. My students find this information most helpful and I am pleased to be of help. Over the past few years, I have worked with some very talented Loyola Theatre majors who have gone on to fame and fortune. It is such a pleasure to know that I played a part in their development as artists.