I'm pleased to say that auditions went wonderfully. I am delighted with the folks that I cast for The Man in the Chair, Adolpho, George, Kitty, Mrs. Tottendale, Janet, and, most importantly, the Drowsy Chaperone. Robert is going to need a bit of work, although he's awonderful tap dancer. I worry a little about one of my Tall Brothers. And I suspect that my Underling has a bit of the Grande Diva in him, but we shall see. Still and all, I am more than pleased with the cast, and everyone seemed really excited to be in the show. No one turned me down, which surprised me, because some of the folks in the ensemble are just as talented as the people with larger roles. It's nice having bench strength.
With everything cast, and three weeks before the first read through, I now had to turn my attention to the one nagging problem I had with the show: namely, the lack of a set designer.
Now, let's get this straight. A director is not supposed to be responsible for selecting the set designer. That's the job of the producer. But of course, in community theater, you wear many different hats, so I have ben helping out with the search. The guy we usually use has grad school classes to take (and is a little miffed at me because I had one of his flats repainted last year, because it needed it badly), and our second choice wants to be paid and has an atttude.Even so, I've begged and pleaded with both.
I've also attended two productions of the show in the past few months and hit up three set designers from different productions. That work did snag me a pretty terrific plane, but no set designer.
Now, after so many months, and only a few weeks before rehearsals are under way, I had to put my foot down. It was time for someone to step up to the plate besides me. So, a few days ago, I called the artistic director for the group and I tried to be respectful but firm: either you find a set designer for this show, or I'm going to have to resign.
I was nice. I didn't resign there and then,. I gave them until one week after the first rehearsal, which gives them one month essentially to get their act together.
"But Ted, if you quit, then we can't do the show," she said.
I'm pleased to report that it seems to have woken them up. The designer who was going to grad school seems to be willing to help out again, although we will have two folks oversee the construction of his designs, and then I will have our set painters come in and make it all look pretty. And, I just received an offer from the partner of the guy who's playing my Man in the Chair, who seems super talented.
Things are really looking up!