Laura Mecsey directs Guys and Dolls, the first of two summer productions from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in 2012. The music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser; the book is by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Laura will be getting married soon and moving to North Carolina, where she will be looking for a job in the theatre arts.
Question: Why did you want to direct Guys and Dolls?
Laura Mecsey: Guys and Dolls has always been one of my favorite musicals. I have a personal affinity to this musical: it was one of the first musicals I was ever part of. It's just a fun, moving musical. Some musicals are light and fun to watch, but there isn't a lot of meat to them. In Guys and Dolls, you see a full transformation of the character of Sarah Brown, from being set in her ways to opening up and finding love. There also are songs people will know and adore.
Q: What makes this a good show for young actors?
L.M.: It's very ensemble-based and it teaches performers to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It's so important for a lot of musicals but especially Guys and Dolls. And the ensemble is a lot of fun: every character is interesting.
Q: What are your goals for the actors? What do you want them to get out of this experience?
L.M.: We approach this summer experience as giving them the responsibility of acting like professionals. A fantastic thing that everyone will leave with is that, if they are responsible and work hard, they can accomplish fantastic things.
Q: What will an audience remember most about this show?
L.M.: We're trying to highlight the beautiful moments. The love and chemistry between Sky and Sarah, and the adoration between Nathan and Adelaide, I hope they remember the fantastic moments of young love and the fun gangsters.
Q: In real life, are you more of a Save-a-Soul Sister or a gangster's doll?
L.M.: I'm probably a Save-a-Soul Sister because I'm about bringing out the best in everybody. And I don't have a big rebellious streak.
Guys and Dolls will run July 20 and 21 at the Tippecanoe CountyAmphitheater Park, 4449 State Road 43 North, West Lafayette.
The shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.
For information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit its website.