Thursday, June 10, 2010

Interview with Director Jeremy Aldridge

Jeremy Aldridge most recently directed the World Premiere of Savin' Up For Saturday Night at Sacred Fools Theatre, for which he received a Best Director Nomination from LA Weekly. Previously he directed the award-winning and critically acclaimed Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara (Sacred Fools and Matrix Theatres), for which he received an Ovation Nomination and LADCC and Garland awards for Outstanding Direction.
In this second interview with the creative team of Priscilla's Perfect Day @ GROUP rep in NoHo, Aldridge as director of the play describes his challenges in working on it.
What was the greatest challenge in putting together a children's play? Particularly as opposed to regular adult fare?

I think the greatest challenge is making sure that we create something that is meaningful, accessible and most of all fun for children. As Diana mentions, we do not want to pander to kids- however we know that the two biggest hits in our show are probably our six foot five lobster and a walking and dancing dog Roscoe! It is a balance. Priscilla's Perfect Day really succeeds at this by reflecting children's wonderful imaginations, while teaching a nice little lesson about expectation and what is important in life.

Most children's shows I've seen disappoint me, because they do not allow kids to interact with what's going on onstage? How are you surmounting this problem? Is there interplay with the audience?

We do have a really fun chase scene that takes place throughout the audience and sing along for everyone at the end of the show. Characters, especially Priscilla herself, regularly break the fourth wall and engage the audience. Additionally, the kids will have the opportunity to interact with the characters after the show during our Pancake Breakfast. (It doesn't get much better than a show and character breakfast for $12!) However, Priscilla's Perfect Day was actually created with a companion educational package that helps children learn about traditional forms of theatre. Our aim is to introduce the kids to the experience of theatre and have them enjoy themselves so much it becomes a viable entertainment option for the whole family. We hope the kids will leave and really be hungering for another theatrical experience.

I really feel that adults are nothing more than big kids. You have to entertain them as well, since they bring the kids to the show and are also a part of the audience. How do you feel you have achieved this with Priscilla...?

Each and every rehearsal we are finding more and more what we are calling "Pixar" moments in the show- moments that will satisfy both sides of the equation. Dads and Moms will laugh because they identify with the parents in the show and at the same time the children will totally get the relationship that Priscilla and Billy have as brother and sister.
The songs themselves also work on many layers. As an adult, while watching and listening to "Perfect Day" it truly has a profound effect. The song really touches you on an emotional level. At the same time, on its face it is about a little girl drawing pictures in her scrap book and imagining the rain away. Really wonderful song writing! I feel blessed to be working with Diana and Richard on Priscilla- the cast and crew have been great- as well as all the folks we have partnered with at Group rep.
Priscilla’s Perfect Day, directed by Jeremy Aldridge, plays Saturday mornings at 11:00 am June 12 through July 17 at the GROUP rep @ the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Boulevard in North Hollywood.Call 323-822-7898 for tickets or visit:
Running time: one hour, followed by Pancake Party and craft making at noon.

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