Sunday, June 9, 2013

In the Wings: The Inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival - A Humble Path. Meet Craig Martin, the director.

Craig Martin directs A Humble Path, one of six plays that are part of the inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It was written by Steve Martin. The festival will be at 7:30 p.m. on June 21-22 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

Question: How would you describe the action or conflict in A Humble Path?
Craig Martin: It is a monologue/confessional of a troubled man who had tried his best to live a structured, responsible life and finds himself slipping.

Q: How did you initially become interested in directing?
C.M.: I was offered the chance to direct a staged reading of Red last year and found it intriguing to be on the other side of a production, giving suggestions to the actors and trying to establish a timing and pace for the full story as opposed to just one role.

Q: What led you to want to direct the play you're directing?
C.M.: Again, some fool offered me the chance - and after having read it I felt like I could attend to it properly and give it the "breath" of a real experience.

Q: What challenges do 10-minute plays provide to a director?
C.M.: The challenge seems to lie in finding a method with which to "sync" your audience into your story quickly. Otherwise they will carry thoughts from the previous story into yours or wrestle with the foundation of your tale for too many valuable minutes before being able to settle in and absorb it.

Q: What is your working relationship with the playwright?
C.M.: He has been unbelievably gracious and hands-off, allowing me to explore my own take on his story without hovering and challenging my interpretation. On the other hand, I've reached out and asked for touchstones to better determine his intent, as I would hate to twist the story in a direction contrary to his thinking.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise of this process?
C.M.: The numbers of actors who auditioned and wanted to take part in one of the six mini-productions. It's a much more diverse group of people than normally involved in a Civic production and it'll be fun to see how this "sampler" production all ties together.

Q: Fill in the blank: "It takes me more time to _____ than it takes to watch a 10-minute play."
C.M.: "check my email"

The inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival will be Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre at 320 N. 5th Street - the corner of 5th Street and North Street - in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can event, general admission tickets are available at the box office immediately before the event begins.

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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