Theater is a collaborative endeavor. The playwright, director, producer, actors, stage manager, designers, and crew are all vital for a successful production. One weak link can ruin an otherwise great show. Fortunately for me, I found a wonderful group of talented hard-working people to work on this show. No weak links. I also have a group of allies who have given me advice and helped in other ways.
I had never produced a show, and thanks to Covid most of my directing experience was virtual. So before I could even start on this project, I needed a lot of advice. But fortunately my friends in the theater community came through for me with their wealth of experience.
Rowen Haigh and Shannon Woolley were always available to answer my producing and directing questions.
Johannah Maynard Edwards, with the National Women’s Theatre Festival, taught a class on producing that provided resources and templates that were incredibly beneficial for me, and she also gave me advice when I was creating my Indiegogo campaign.
Valerie Canon and Katie Hay were always available to answer questions I had about putting on a show at The Bard’s Town, as well as any other random questions I had.
Some of my advisors even joined my production team. Martin French not only gave me advice throughout the entire process, but also agreed to be my light and sound designer. He originally was just going to do lights, but when I said I had no idea how to get sound effects, he stepped up and became our sound designer as well. He is always willing to answer any of my directing and producing questions and offer support whenever I need it. I’ll often send him a quick question over messenger and he responds with a well thought out answer with additional information I hadn’t even thought to ask.
Speaking of my production team, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Hannah Greene, our technical designer. They have stepped up to do a little bit of everything. I met Hannah while working with Looking for Lilith. They overheard me talking about The Baby Maker and volunteered to help out. Ironically, I didn’t even know what I needed them to help me with. I figured props and costumes wouldn’t be difficult since it is a modern play, so I just asked for help with the set. Not only did they help me with the set, they ended up helping with costumes and props as well. Hannah really took a lot of stress off of my plate, which allowed me to focus on directing and producing.
And finally, I’d like to talk about my incredible husband, Orlando. From designing my website, to proofing my newsletters and blog posts, and to advising me on social media, I am so grateful for his support. When I didn’t feel like emailing and calling people about the show, he encouraged me to keep going. When I didn’t want to record a promotional video because I felt awkward on camera, he helped me figure out what to say and then edited the video for me. He has been with me every step of the way. I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago if he wasn’t there supporting me.
I am blessed to have all these amazing people helping me along the way. And I’ve barely even scratched the surface. I’m also thankful for:
- The Chapel of St Philip Neri for allowing us to use the space for rehearsals.
- Doug Schutte for making The Bard’s Town available to theater companies and new artists like myself.
- Jay Padilla-Hayter for agreeing to step in at the last minute as our production stage manager.
- Gary Tipton and Elaine Hackett for helping build and paint the set.
- Holly Stone for photography.
- Jason Roseberry for giving me my first directing experience when assisting him with Peter and The Starcatcher and then giving me an opportunity to co-direct Little Women.
- And I’d like to thank everyone who donated to the fundraiser for this show.
All these people have believed in me and I am so grateful.
Last, but certainly not least, I am incredibly thankful for my wonderful cast. A good cast makes a director’s job easy and that is certainly true for this show. They aren’t afraid to try new things, they listen to my notes and take direction well, they are respectful of each other, and at the end of rehearsals they always help put away props and set pieces so we can all leave the building together. They really went above and beyond to make this show a success.
Working on The Baby Maker has been an incredible experience. I have learned how to produce a show (and realized that I really don’t like producing as a result). I raised over $2000 for the show. (I am still amazed by that!) I have grown as a director. I have become more confident in my abilities. And I have grown more fond of the Louisville theater community. As an actor, I always felt I was pitted against people, but now I realize that was all in my mind. This community really helps each other out and lifts each other up. I am incredibly grateful for everyone who helped me during this process. I would not have been able to bring The Baby Maker to Louisville, without all of their help. Thank you!