The Actor’s Nightmare: Director’s Take

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Our July One Acts are fast approaching! We've asked each of the directors to give us a brief look at their show, and their thoughts about the play and the directing process. Up first is Scott Denniston, who is directing The Actor's Nightmare. 

See the July One Acts from July 13-22. Details and tickets available here.

The Actor’s Nightmare: Director’s Take

By Scott Denniston

Here is my reaction to The Actor's Nightmare:

At first glance, "I've been there" and this is HILARIOUS. Anyone who's been involved in theatre, at one time or another, has woken up in cold sweats because of their very own actor's nightmare. This short piece by Christopher Durang pokes fun at some of the common dreams that keep actors tossing and turning in their sleep. 

At first read through, I thought it was a simple, light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek comedy that would have our audience laughing at the expense of our poor lead character, George. We wanted to have some fun with it.

Then, as I started to look deeper at each character, I realized how many layers there are (or could be) to this story and how we could potentially add some depth to the work. I realized that, yes, the main focus is the literal actor's nightmare. Underneath this, however, each character is embodying a different "real life" nightmare that actors face every day. These nightmares may be:

  • Being typecast, and never having the chance to experiment with different roles
  • Being the young actor who has never gotten their "big break"
  • Being the aging actor who is starting to be too old for the parts they once played

The list can go on. 

My challenge to the audience will be this: try to spot each actor's personal nightmare. Other than that, laugh LOTS, and enjoy!