All the world's a...film?
In September of this year, I began a new journey as the director of a film adaptation of As You Like It! I have experience directing this show thanks to a 2016 production I worked on at my high school alma mater, but working on an adaptation for young audiences AND for film has certainly been a new and exciting challenge.
I'm lucky enough to have an incredible creative team--my two undergraduate stage managers, undergraduate scenic designer (turned location scout), and my passionate cast have made this into an unforgettable show. We started on Zoom, which was weird, but quickly got used to our lines at a safe distance from each other. After moving to in-person rehearsals, we found ourselves working outside during a beautiful Ohio autumn. We took advantage of sunny days and did Viewpoints on the lawn outside the theatre, clowning in a field, and script work at large picnic tables overlooking the Olentangy river. If I'm being honest...I am in love with being outside during this process! It's been so refreshing to interact with nature, feel the sun on our skin, and attract the occasional curious bystander.
We were lucky enough to be paired with an imaginative and stylish student designer who pulled costumes that most of the cast are interested in keeping after the production! But, no collaboration is without its tension. When it came time to begin filming, conflicting schedules, mandatory quarantines, and a plethora of other problems shattered our pastoral rehearsal utopia. But, through it all, what has struck me is the actors' dedication to making this work. Every time we arrive at our new filming location and frantically run lines and fix blocking, I'm again reminded how much this experience means to the passionate, professional, and goddamn talented young artists I am lucky enough to create with.
Sometimes, we need a reminder to recommit to our work, and how fortunate I am to have 14 reminders 6 days a week!