Some Questions… for Thirst Director Scott Olson
With Thirst coming right around the corner, (Tickets, anybody?) we thought it’d be nice for you to get a peek inside the minds of some of our creative team. First up, our fearless leader, director Scott Olson.
What drew you to want to direct this piece?
I hadn’t finished reading it and already knew I wanted to direct this. When you get a play as well written as THIRST is, you jump at the chance to work on it in any capacity. It’s a very gripping play and you want to stick around to find out what happens to these men. The dialogue is terrific and sounds just like people speak; there are poetic sections of it that are just lovely. Plus, there was a supernatural element in the script that I really wanted to bump up as well.
What do you find is the largest difference between directing a new play and an established piece?
Directing a new play is wonderful because there are no prior expectations that you have with an established piece. With established pieces, people have certain expectations with them (I know I do) and if you don’t meet those expectations or if you really re-work and re-imagine a piece that is close to someone’s heart, you run the risk of alienating some of the audience. With a new play, you are exposing it to the audience for the first time. For me, whether as a director or actor, that’s a lot more fun. Plus, you get to work with the playwright and help him or her work and define the piece.
What are some challenges you’ve run up against so far?
There are huge technical challenges with this piece which are tricky working with a smaller budget. Often when we are working on it, I see the film version of this in my mind and then have to adjust it to the stage.
What are you looking forward to seeing on opening night?
The audience coming out of the theatre talking about the play and the show. I won’t be in the theatre because I never sit and watch the show on opening. It’s too nerve-wracking. I’m usually hanging around backstage or in the lobby.
Anything you think people should know before they see this play?
That it’s okay to laugh in moments you find funny even though the characters on-stage are in a very serious situation. Sometimes audience members think it’s not okay to laugh during a “dramatic” piece. I always try to find the lighter moments to balance the serious ones.
How would you cope with being trapped in a mine? What would your first move be?
This is awful to say but I would probably start making jokes because it’s what I tend to do to lighten the mood during serious moments. I would probably do what one of the characters in the play does– but I can’t say it or it would ruin the play for anyone who’s reading this.
THIRST runs from January 19th-29th at Stage 773 (1225 W Belmont). For tickets, call 773-327-5252 or click here and order them online. See you there!