I received a rather urgent email from the president of Center Players today; it seems that we have a deadline of this weekend for our first annual brochure and there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. The head of the brochure project is Anthony Greco, who is also the director of our upcoming production, Doubt: A Parable. Ah hah! I now have the perfect excuse to crash, I mean visit the theater to get a glimpse into our next theatrical offering.
You see, Anthony the Director is a very busy individual. He usually has two or three theatrical projects going on at the same time, all while working and going to college. He seems to achieve all this effortlessly, but I think he must have the organizational skills of a seasoned administrative professional, along with an abundance of creative talents. I had the pleasure to see Anthony act, dance and sing in Bye Bye Birdie only a couple of weeks ago. Did I mention he directed Birdie too? As the Birdie performances began, Anthony began directing rehearsals of Doubt. I must admit, I envy his stamina.
While trying to watch the rehearsal unobtrusively, I am pleasantly surprised at the actors’ performances, even at this early stage of rehearsals. Anthony seems to be what is known as an “actor’s director,” probably because he acts himself. Instead of taking the easy way out and giving line readings for the actors to show them what he is looking for, Anthony describes his vision and gives insight into the character’s psychological makeup to draw out the desired emotion. And, yes, it works! I watch the actors grow in the scene, and bring a bit more depth into the lines in question. For those of you who know the play, Sister Aloysius can be played as an embittered and nasty character, but a wise director will soften certain moments to bring humanity to the portrait. And Anthony is doing just that.
The rehearsal is drawing to an end; Anthony and I will be meeting shortly about our looming brochure deadline. Yes, we are meeting at 9:45 pm. My head is aching for my pillow, yet Anthony is filled with an endless resource of energy. What is his secret to accomplishing so much in so little time? The man never rests!