Careful What You Wish For: Tales of Terror from the Mind of W. W. Jacobs - October 21 - October 24, 2021

Marshalltown Community Theatre

 Director's Notes 


Where do I even begin? 


Saying that the last eighteen months have been difficult feels both cliche and understated. I could tell you about all the obstacles MCT has had to overcome to get here: pandemic, derecho, insurance claims, construction, plagues of locusts and rivers of blood . . .  but you didn’t come here tonight for that. You came here to be entertained, for a little bit of normal as you escape into the alternate reality of theatre. So, let’s do that instead.


This is my first effort at directing. In hindsight, directing a show under these conditions probably warranted someone more skilled and experienced than myself, but I lobbied for it and, well . . . Careful What You Wish For. I thank the board for having enough confidence in me to give me the reins.


One thing I’ve learned through this process is that I have to place my trust in others.  I do not know the nuts and bolts and wattage and decibels of lighting or sound, so I had to rely on others to make it happen in this new venue. I was not familiar with the timeline and management of a production, so I had to trust my assistant director. I had an image of costumes in my mind but did not know how to make them a reality, so I found someone and left the tailoring in her hands. Even as I write this, not a single piece of the set has been constructed, but I have no doubt that it will be done by the time you read it because I have faith in those who have taken the job. It would be impossible for me to do this on my own. Theatre is like raising a child; it takes a village.


My cast has been outstanding. They have accepted my (occasionally contradictory) direction, collaborated, given feedback, dealt with adversity, and done absolutely everything possible to make my job as easy as possible. I cannot imagine a better group of actors to have directed in my first outing. If you see anything good on stage tonight, it is their instinct and skill shining through in spite of my directing.


Finally, I would be utterly remiss if I did not thank my wife and boys for allowing me to disappear for a few hours every night to work on this show. Last week we ended rehearsal a little early and I made it home just in time to tuck my youngest in for bedtime. As I was doing so, he asked “Where do you go every night?” That hit me. For the first time, I fully realized that it was not just the cast and crew who sacrifice to make community theatre happen, but our families as well. Thank you for sharing us with the theatre and allowing us the time to do what we do. More than anyone else in the audience, I hope you enjoy the show tonight.


I’ll be relieved when this production is over, but forever grateful that I was allowed to direct it. 

It’s good to take the stage again. 

It’s good to be back.



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