Our 2018 season opens in just over a week on May 4 and there are so many reasons you should be there--but don't just take it from me! Bobcat President and director Keith Zagorski shared his insight into Something to Hide, a mystery by Leslie Sands.
Casey: You're widely known as an audience-favorite actor with the Bobcats, and yet here you are directing our season opener. Why does directing appeal to you and how does it differ from being onstage?
Keith: In some ways, [acting is] easier than directing. But directing is a neat challenge and a big change from acting, as the perspective is truly different. When I act, I have the luxury of focusing on my character and how it interacts, sometimes with only a few other characters. As a director, there’s a lot more responsibility--understanding the whole script, where each role fits, how it supports the others, what we need for props, costumes, lighting cues, music, etc. The biggest challenge is communicating to the actors in a way that enables an actor to have some freedom to express themselves, while moving a character in a direction that strengthens the show. The great thing is my time as an actor gives me a perspective that helps me direct, as I better understand what works from an actor’s point of view.
Casey: What interested you most about this play?
Keith: The script itself attracted me. [It's] very Hitchcock-like with some neat twists and turns. Though it’s not a well-known show, all six members of our play-reading committee loved it and thought we should add it. I am not usually a huge fan of mysteries, but this play definitely grabbed my interest.
Casey: What are the greatest challenges with Something to Hide?
Keith: The toughest challenges are the accents, since there are multiple English variations, as well as keeping the action and dialogue tight. Both are essential to the audience clearly following and understanding the twists.
Casey: What makes this show a great season opener and why do you think Bobcat audiences will enjoy it?
Keith: Something to Hide is both a great story and great mystery, but that style is something we rarely do. I think the variety should please our audience. We were also blessed with strong auditions, so I had the luxury of some actor choices and ended up with a solid cast: a mix of Bobcat regulars like Mike Prest & Mary Romeo, more recent performers like Bruce Travers, Bridget Yeager, Valerie Boyce, and some first time actors (for our troupe) like Jennifer Kopach and Jason Fernandez. They all will help make my directing better than I could have accomplished on my own! And I've been fortunate to have great support from the other members of the directing and staging team, in addition to the Bobcat board. We have a strong season planned, so it’s exciting to kick it off!
Casey: How do you approach the rehearsal period?
Keith: Well, this show is a little longer than normal, since it's written as three acts. We've combined the acts back into the anticipated two, but we accordingly started rehearsals about 2 weeks earlier than normal.
Casey: So how have rehearsals gone? (You know I have to pry about a show called Something to Hide!)
Keith: The show is written so that there’s often only 2 or 3 actors on stage, which allows easier organization of the rehearsals. The actors have all done a fantastic job developing their characters, and putting in the time to get up to speed on their roles. I'd also have to give special mentions to Theo Reddinger, Eric Armstrong, Veronica White and Carey Hill, who have all been great helps behind the scenes, as have Patty Hamilton and Brandon Fowler.
Casey: Now's the time to shamelessly plug. Give us all the details!
Keith: Something to Hide runs May 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 with all performances beginning at 7:30 pm in the Ed Schaughency Theater. Tickets are on sale now for only $10 with open seating and doors open at 6:45 pm. You can purchase tickets in person at the Hostess Gift Shoppe in Beaver, online, or by reserving with our box office at (724) 494-1680.
It's the perfect time to plan your visit to the English countryside for Something to Hide! We can't wait to see you there.