Recently completed my first ever experience with directing in-the-round! Working with the Cabrillo Theatre Festival 2013, I produced Jeffrey Hatcher's The Turn of the Screw with Danielle Crook and Lucien Leutzinger in the two roles (Governess for Danielle and all the other roles for Lucien!) It was, without doubt, an exciting and challenging project. Danielle and Lucien were perfect in the roles and worked very hard to give me what I wanted. They also accomplished some truly professional results in their performances. My feeling about directing this particular show in-the-round is that it does lose something because, no matter how hard the director works on staging, there will be moments when one or the other of the actors has his or her face turned away. In a show which almost requires that we read the actor's expressions, this can be a very real problem. However, I have to say that audience members seemed to be getting all of the story no matter where they were seated. Of course, the staging does keep things very close and personal -- that may be the aspect that keeps the audience 'with' the material. Until I can stage this show in proscenium or even three-quarter round, I won't really know the difference!
Brian will use this blog to express thoughts on theater in general and on aspects of his own theatrical company.