Directed Plays. No,
by Michael Flanagan
Thereís something about theatre.
Iíve now spent two separate three-month
periods directing college students in two of the best
productions ever to be seen on the collegiate stage.
Öokay, maybe thatís not exactly
accurate. But I
defy you to prove me wrong!
In these productions, I learned many new
and exciting lessons in this life that seems to tire of lessons
shortly after the protection of uniform education comes to a
dramatic halt. Gaining
some kind of wisdom from a group of people whose central
preoccupation is alcohol and sexÖand thereís certainly
nothing wrong with thatÖis surprisingly refreshing.
So here is my list of things learned from going back to
my alma mater to direct plays with a group of people I now
either consider friends, or annoying assholes, depending on whom
The enticement of alcohol doesnít fade after college.
It grows, exponentially.
So the confusing aspects of college clear up pretty
quickly after a few Jack & Cokes.
Acting and directing arenít similar. Actors have lots of important responsibilities that they
donít live up to. Directors
yell at them for that.
Plays and musicals arenít the same. Plays are full of hardships and difficulties that lead up to
a miracle of a show. Musicals
are full of hardships, difficulties, musicians, and
more of a partial absolution of sin. Partial.
Women are women. There
are women younger than I am who still act closer to my age than
Men arenít men. College
men act my age, if you subtracted it from itself and then some.
But they generally make good bar-buddies, if you can
convince them to buy you drinks until they get too drunk to
The stage is the stage.
It is professional and mysterious, all at the same time.
Eventually, even the uninterested come to respect it.
And then it caves in under them.
Sometimes they come back.
When all goes wrong, you sit in a circle with people you
will know better than any, though none of you will ever admit
it, but it will becomes a cherished point of your entire
lifetime. Unless someone smells.
When you hear the same music for 12 hours a week for
three months, it sucks. A
lot. And you will
hum it every day youíre not in rehearsal.
just another word for pre-employment vacation.
College theatre is like a pre-employment vacation on a
beach during hurricane season.
And thatís about it.
Of course, thereís more, but those are the private
things. The things
that you smile about as youíre drifting off to sleep on a
quiet night during a rainstorm.
And then, thereís the waking up screaming in a cold
sweat things. But
March 2022 Joseph De Matteo all rights reserved.