Assistant Director aka Cat Herder

Or at least that was what I was told when I took on the position. As I begin my first formal role as Assistant Director, I find that the cats in this case, are not so much the actors, but the little details.

Our community theater is putting on The Canterville Ghost, a adaptation of short story written by Oscar Wilde. The play depicts the adventures of an American family clashing with a very cranking English ghost. You would be cranky too if your relatives walled you up behind the fireplace with food just out of your reach, and what for, just a little misunderstanding about stabbing your wife.

In the version we are putting on, the American family consists of a Mom, Dad, two daughters and the mom’s sister. Mom & Dad are as big as life Texan-types, the sister is sweet, caring young woman and the girls, well they are just two balls of energy! The family is delighted to be buying a castle with a little extra something-something and the town people think they are crazy for not taking the ghost seriously. However, the ghost, Sir Simon isn’t happy to be treated like a joke, so he steps up his game and begins to make things uncomfortable. The play continues with the family finding a way to fight back that goes horribly wrong, which leads to even more fun.

This is a great tale to be telling during the October Halloween season, can’t wait for the public to see it.

I am being trained to direct through the role as Assistant Director, and I am learning it is not so much about herding the actors, the Director has that well in hand. It is more about keeping track of the little things and being available to the cast if they have a question. It is also about making things happen so the Director can focus, or being there to brainstorm with the Director. The biggest cat taming to be done so far is schedule coordination.

This play has so many entrances and exits, I am sure on the nights of the play, I will be doing a bit of cat herding to make sure everyone gets on stage at the right time. But as of now the actors are doing great and I am taming sets, schedules and information sharing. Most of all I am  having a blast!

Word of advice – if you are new to a community and want to get to know a great bunch of people, find your local community theater and volunteer!


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“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts” – William Shakespeare

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” Terrence Mann