Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Staged Reading Series: A Wonderful Suicide. Meet Kevin Colby, the director.

Kevin Colby directs A Wonderful Suicide, the fifth staged reading of the 2012-2013 Staged Reading Series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Diane Littleton Bahler. It will receive its world premiere Monday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Question: Why did you want to direct A Wonderful Suicide?
Kevin Colby: From my work with Civic Theatre's Tour of Terror, I was very familiar with the historic events Diane's play is based upon. When I read it, I was really taken with both the accuracy of detail and the unique structure of the story.

Q: What is your working relationship with Diane like?
K.C.: I've tried to present things in a way that captures Diane's vision for this, and Diane has been very receptive to feedback from the actors and me about the script. I think we've been able to work quite well together.

Q: What has been the process of turning A Wonderful Suicide into a staged reading?
K.C.: In many ways, the script lends itself well to a staged reading. I've tried to keep actual movement, props and spoken stage directions to a minimum, but I have included a little of each where they seemed really important to make things clear for the audience or to create the desired impact.

Q: What is story of A Wonderful Suicide?
K.C.: A Wonderful Suicide explores the people and events surrounding the suicide of James Moon in 1876. Probably the most famous death in Lafayette history, Moon cut off his own head with a contraption of his own design inside the Lahr Hotel downtown on 5th Street. Through the eyes of the young boy who made drawings of the scene of death at the time and grew to become an intrepid young reporter in Lafayette, Diane's play allows you to meet those who were there, Moon's friends and family, and to discuss the nature of death and how we all relate to it.

Q: What value does the Staged Reading Series bring to Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette?
K.C.: The Staged Reading Series is terrific because it gives us here in Lafayette a chance to get a taste of so many works that may not have the mass appeal to support a major production. Not only that, but the cost of attending one of these can be much lower, so there's no reason folks on a tight budget in these times cannot still enjoy an evening out at the theatre. I've seen a number of amazing pieces produced as staged readings here in town, and I encourage everyone to really check these out.

Another reason I love the Staged Reading Series is the opportunity it gives for aspiring local actors, or even not-so-aspiring people in our community, who have ever thought they might enjoy trying their hand at theatre. It's an extremely easy way to get involved, with low time commitments and without all the extra demands of memorizing lines and movement. If you've ever thought about maybe someday getting on stage, but are worried you don't have the experience or the time, come to the next staged reading auditions. You may just surprise yourself.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
K.C.: I hope to see a large audience at the staged reading on Monday, March 18. Afterward, they can ask me, Diane and the actors their own questions!

The staged reading of A Wonderful Suicide will be Monday, March 18 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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