Friday, March 15, 2013

The Staged Reading Series: Going Through Hell. Meet Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos, the director.

Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos directs Going Through Hell, the sixth staged reading of the 2012-2013 Staged Reading Series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Steve Martin. It will receive its world premiere Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Question: Why did you want to direct Going Through Hell?
Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos: I've been watching it develop since last summer, and offered some feedback to the playwright I think was helpful. Once you offer feedback, especially extensive feedback, you develop a more intimate relationship with a script than you would with just a casual reading. It's like a kid. It's not my kid. It's the neighbor's kid. I didn't create him, but I still care about him and want him to do well in life.

Q: What is your working relationship like with Steve Martin?
K.McB.-A.: He's like the mom next door. Her kid has come over for a sleepover. She keeps looking out the window, making sure our house hasn't burned down. I wave and smile reassuringly.

Q: What has been the process of making Going Through Hell a staged reading?
K.McB.-A.: I have a strong opinion about what a staged reading is and isn't. A staged reading is a critical step in a play's development and precedes a production. My goal, and the purpose of a staged reading, is to put the play in context for the playwright so that he/she can hear the flow of the play and see where changes and tweaks might be needed. The focus is on dialogue and plot. I've also packaged it for the audience, who participates in the same way by offering valuable insight through the talkbacks. The biggest benefit is having actors inhabit the roles. They are able to sniff out all manner of inconsistencies and contradictions about their characters because they necessarily see only through their characters' eyes, whereas the writer and director have a global view. This is very helpful. The actors kind of work like pipe cleaners in that way.

Q: What is the story of Going Through Hell?
K.McB.-A.: Love is found. Love is lost. Love is followed to the ends of Hell.

Q: What will an audience enjoy during the staged reading?
K.McB.-A.: The whiplash from that sharp turn they didn't see coming.

Q: What else would you like to say?
K.McB.-A.: New plays are like Lotto tickets to American theatres. You don't know which one's going to be a winner, so you should buy up as many as you can, stage as many as you can. I commend Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette for providing this venue for two new locally written plays.

The staged reading of Going Through Hell will be Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can event.

There will be a question-and-answer session immediately following between the audience, the cast, the director and the playwright.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

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