|Director Dennis Broadhead|
Directing comedy is like conducting a marching band. Everyone plays their own instrument, but ultimately it’s up to the director to make sure everyone’s marching to the same beat. Add blocking and timing issues and you begin to understand how complicated comedy can be. And if it’s a farce, it’s like the marching band is running in formation through revolving doors. Director Dennis Broadhead understands the unique challenges presented by Whose Wives Are They Anyway? “My role as the director is one of a trainer, teacher, jokester and a little bit of a cattle prod.” Dennis’ main goal is the give the cast direction on certain scenes, “so that they will understand my vision for the show.” In Whose Wives, instead of revolving doors, the characters play musical beds: People are constantly running in and out of bedrooms and falling on top of one another in compromising positions. They overhear and misunderstand dialogue, particularly when the telephone system in the golf club goes haywire.
Dennis is in charge of herding all the actors and says that in “a show like this, the biggest challenge is the split-second timing that is required in many of the scenes.” This comedic timing requires a lot of trust among the actors, the equivalent of falling backwards and hoping that someone is there to catch you in time. Dennis observes that “this cast is seasoned and they all work well together. It will be a joy to put this show on with such a talented group of people both on the stage as well as backstage.”
Dennis is no stranger to the director’s chair, but the last show he directed was “Fools” when the new Barn was still under construction. This past fall, Dennis returned to the stage as “Judge Taylor” in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Doing comedy, especially farce, is one of his greatest joys in theater: “The thing I enjoy the most about directing a comedy is when the cast can do a ‘comedic bit’ correctly so that everyone, including myself, cracks up laughing. I wanted to do this show because nothing is more pleasing than hearing an audience laughing at something that I had a hand in creating.”
Whose Wives Are They Anyway? opens Friday February 17 and runs through Saturday March 3. For tickets, go to www.farmingtonplayers.org or call the box office at 248-553-2955. Find us on Facebook under "Farmington Players".