The Sweet Delilah Swim Club: Director Interview
We are less than 2 weeks away from our Spring show, The Sweet Delilah Swim Club by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. After 2 years, we’re delighted to return with a show we’re sure you’ll enjoy! Erin Bock directs this show and graciously agreed to answer a few questions for our patrons.
Keith: Can you give us some idea of your theater background, which is extensive.
Erin: I have been involved in the Pittsburgh area theatre community for over 20 years, mostly as an actor/singer in plays, musicals, and concerts at venues ranging from the Benedum Center to local theaters and beyond. I have always loved performing and, in 2017, I earned the opportunity to pursue my Masters of Fine Arts in musical theater performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, which I received in 2019. While I was in Boston, I got to hone my skills not just as an actor and a singer, but also as a director and teacher. This show marks my first experience as a director in Pittsburgh and I am just thrilled that it gets to be with this group. The first show I was in after moving back home in 2019 was The Setup with the Bobcat Players at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, where I was directed by Shelly Cary, who I’ve cast as Vernadette in The Sweet Delilah Swim Club. I’m so happy that my first directing experience is such a lovely, full-circle moment and am so grateful for the continued support I’ve received from everyone involved with the Bobcat Players over these past few years.
Keith: What interested you about The Sweet Delilah Swim Club after reading the script?
Erin: This script has so much heart. The characters in this play are very well-written and three-dimensional. They’re a group of strong women with their own unique outlooks and lives, but they all realize the importance of staying close to the friends who know them best and that will always keep them grounded and supported. I think that,
especially over the past few years, we have all realized the importance of connection and friendships to get us through the good and bad moments and everything in between. While the world around them continues to change, these women are navigating life together and their bonds only get stronger as the years go on.
Keith: First time director. What’s been the easiest and hardest part of this new role?
Erin: The cast will tell you that the hardest part for me was trying to decipher my own handwriting in order to give them their blocking! Honestly, this cast has made everything so easy. They are a joy to direct. Directing comes with a lot of decision-making (more than I even realized!), but the easiest part for me was the decision to cast this group of women in these roles. They’re knocking it out of the park.
Keith: Now that you’re a few weeks into the process as director, how would you compare the preparation process to acting?
Erin: The best way I can describe it is that it’s like preparing to play multiple parts at once. As an actor, you’re
preparing by mining the script for backstory, objectives, relationships, etc. The same thing applies as a director, but you’re doing it for each and every character and making sure that every choice you make is helping to further and reinforce the story in some way. There’s also a greater degree of control as a director in that you get to create your own version of the world within the script. It’s very challenging, but so rewarding. I go home after rehearsal each night with the biggest smile on my face.
Keith: The cast is a mix of people you may or may not have known, what’s been their feedback on this journey?
Erin: They seem to be enjoying the process as much as I am! I have been blown away since day one at how commi
tted these actors are and how well they are gelling together as a cast. Both on and off the stage, they are acting like they’ve been together for years. It’s been such a great experience to watch their growth throughout this whole process.
Keith: Finally, what would you want the audience to know about the show before they arrive?
Erin: You’re going to fall in love with this story and this group of friends. My best advice is to bring your best friend and grab a martini or two with them after the show. Seriously, there are at least 20 martinis being made for the characters throughout this story. You’re going to want one of your own.
Keith: Come out and be ready to laugh! Helmed by an experienced director with a strong cast of veteran performers… this is a show our patrons will surely enjoy.
The Sweet Delilah Swim Club runs March 24-26 and April 1-3. All performances begin at 7:30 pm, except April 3 at 2:00PM, tickets are only $12! You can purchase yours at the Hostess Gift Shoppe or online. You can also reserve with our box office by calling (878) 207-0309. Can’t wait to see you there.