|A.D. Tony Targan and Director Michael Schacherbauer giving notes at rehearsal.|
Photo by Dave Ewick
Now that To Kill A Mockingbird has closed, I want to share some personal reflections from the past four months. We really didn’t know what to expect at auditions in June, but we got an amazing turnout of 60 actors, including many newcomers to the Barn. We were very lucky to have such talented kids try out, and Nina White, Patrick Vietor and Nicholas Zupancic quickly stood out as Scout, Jem and Dill. Rehearsals started in July with table work and once the actors got on their feet, things really started to click. August and September were challenging with rehearsals four nights a week, but everything came together by opening night. As word of mouth spread in October, we closed to enthusiastic audiences and full houses by the last weekend.
Mockingbird was my first experience as an assistant director. I learned so much just by watching director Michael Schacherbauer: How to block movement so that the focal point is on the right actor; How to use lighting and sound to strike the right mood; How to organize all the moving parts that need to come together. But most of all, I learned to trust my own instincts. On an interpersonal level, I learned what each actor needed from me to do their best, whether it was praise or correction. Sometimes it was just being there. Kandi Krumins told me that I was her security blanket … Just seeing me in the front row every night during rehearsals checking lines gave her confidence.
Mockingbird was a bit risky as a choice for a fall production, but the play was successful by any measure, including financially. I am also proud to work with so many fine African-American actors, including Grover McCants, Vanessa Davis, James Hodges, Camille Jamerson, Elizabeth Hemmingway and Adrienne Kelly-Webb. I have so much respect for their professionalism in dealing with the racial themes of the play. Like Jean Louise Finch, we will always remember our time together in Maycomb, Alabama.
For more information, go to www.farmingtonplayers.org or call 248-553-2955. Find us on Facebook at "Farmington Players" http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000154976336