It’s only been a few weeks since A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Wedding Singer closed, and already it’s time to gear up and start my newest directing project, Nancy Drew: Girl Detective. I’m looking forward to starting and working with a whole batch of new kids. I have a cast of 23 junior-level kids (grades 3-8) and I’ve only worked with 5 of the 23 actors before, and for 12 of them, this is their first show at OKTC! So this will be a really exciting time to get to know some new faces and have some fun.
I’m a big Nancy Drew fan; I love mysteries and I love the book series and I loved the movie with Emma Roberts, so I’m really looking forward to directing this particular show. It’s based on Nancy Drew #39, The Clue of the Dancing Puppet — but don’t read the book before you come see the show (tickets on sale January 27!) because then you’ll know whodunit!
I’m also excited to working on a play again. It’s been a while since I last directed a play (I believe the last straight play I directed was Curse of the Cobra’s Kiss back in 2011!). Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE musicals, and I love working with fantastic musical directors and choreographers! But it will be nice to switch it up and focus on some real meaty acting, and it’ll be a challenge running the show all by myself! (Of course, I’ll have a team of stage managers, techies and costume/props volunteers, but the director’s gotta have the vision!)
At Original Kids, the first rehearsal generally consists of auditions. The kids received their casting packages in December which told them what show they were in and what they needed to prepare. I’ve asked my actors to prepare a 45-second to 1-minute long monologue to show off their skills. It’s always interesting to see what people will present! The rule is that the monologue must be from a play, musical or book.
I prefer hearing monologues from plays over monologues from movies or television, because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of simply mimicking the original actor’s performance. I like to see actors develop their own characters and really take risks with their auditions. It really shows their bravery and willingness to work hard and be prepared.
After auditions are complete, then it’s time for casting! I’ll have to decide what actor to put in what role. That’s such a nerve-wracking part of being a director, but of course it’s so important to get the right actor playing the right part. Casting is serious business, and I’m going to have to do it quickly, because our next rehearsal will be on Saturday! Since we perform in April, we don’t have time to waste!
So send my cast and I some good vibes, and look forward to more updates throughout the rehearsal process!