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First Time Director: Bringing “Francis and Sophy–A Victorian Romance” to the Stage

September 30, 2010

When I wrote this one-act play, I really had no idea that if I wanted to see it produced I’d have to plan on directing. I like theatre, especially the really small houses where the seating is so compact and close to the stage that the audience becomes intimately involved with the action. But I’m a writer. Directing, acting, producing a stage play—these don’t figure among the skill sets I can claim.

When the Fringe of Marin accepted “Francis and Sophy” they said “I hope you have actors and a director.” Hmm. Well, I know how the lines sounded in my mind when I wrote them—that sums up my experience when it comes to directing. The spoken voice of Sophy sounded like my old friend Alexa, and she agreed to take the role. At the open auditions, one actor read the part of Francis. Byron was good. He got it right away. Please oh please, take the role. To my lasting relief, he did, and Flora Lynn will be my sidekick as Assistant Director for everything—which is everything—I don’t know.

I only know how the written words sounded in my head.

The first reading September 24 was a revelation. We’re all in this together. The only rewards—and I can see they will be great–are the shared experience of bringing Francis and Sophy to life.

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