Directing Pinter or Experiences of a Student Director
Stoltman, Joseph A.
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I started my career in the theatre, as a lot of people do, as an actor. In my freshman year in high school, I was dragged to the auditions for the fall play by a friend of mine. I had never had a desire to participate in the theatre before, and I cannot recall exactly why I let my friend talk me into auditioning. Nevertheless, audition I did, and I got my first role. After that, I was hooked. I tried out for every play and got a role every time. I almost lost my after school job a couple of times because of my rather limited availability. This passion continued on into college. I tried out for plays and got into them here, also. In addition to my acting, I also got a job in the scene shop, where I began to build my technical skills. I was exposed to a number of different facets of technical theatre, anything from building the sets, to hanging the lights, to building props, and even managing the house for one show. The one thing I had never tried was directing. There were a couple of reasons for this. First of all, there never seemed to be a great amount of opportunities to direct here. Most quarters there was a mainstage production going on. and when there wasn't a mainstage, there were older students that wanted to direct. I realize now, however, that this excuse was exactly that; an excuse. In reality I was terrified of the thought of being in charge of all the people that I would need to put up a production. I was afraid that I would do the wrong thing and send the production crashing into flames, or worst yet, I was afraid that my "vision" for the production would be foolish or uninteresting. I then took the Directing I class in the spring of my junior year, and what a relief that was! I found that I knew more about blocking and movements than I thought I did, and I found that my interpretations of the various scripts were as interesting or offbeat as any ones'. I was able to practice and hone these skills, and thus produce the confidence that I needed to direct a full scale production. After the class, I decided that I would like to direct a full scale production. I found that it was a different kind of thrill than acting was. It was electrifying to be in charge of all facets of a production, and I craved the thrill more I then looked into the possibilities of doing it for my S.I.P., and the entire department was behind it. I then had to choose the play. I first had to decide what I what to deal with in terms of themes. I have always found myself drawn to the examination of the relationships between members of the opposite sex. As a matter of fact, my final project for directing class dealt with that subject exclusively. This time, however, I was more interested with dealing with the sexuality of the situation rather than the purely emotional ramification that are implicit with a male-female relationships. That's not to say that I didn't want to deal with the emotions, but rather I wanted to deal with the direct impact of physical sexuality on the emotions. Along with this, I also wanted to deal with the competitive factor that I have found is intrinsic in all relationships, whether it is same sex or opposite sex. Because of these criterion, and others which I will go into later, I came up with Harold Pinter's The Lover.
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