I Directed Plays.  No, Seriously 
by Michael Flanagan

 

I Directed Plays.  No, Seriously.
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 you choose.

1)      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.

2)      Acting and directing arenít similar.  Actors have lots of important responsibilities that they donít live up to.  Directors yell at them for that.

3)      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 choreographers.  No miracle.  Itís more of a partial absolution of sin.  Partial.

4)      Women are women.  There are women younger than I am who still act closer to my age than I do.

5)      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 remember it.

6)      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.

7)      Sometimes they come back.

8)      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.

9)      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.

10)   College is 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 thatísÖanother story.

 

 

Michael Flanagan

Copyright March 2022 Joseph De Matteo all rights reserved.

 

 

A
By Joseph De Matteo

 

 Joe De Matteo

Copyright March 2002 Joseph De Matteo all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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