Monday, March 30, 2015

Five Questions for Chris Creyer, Director

Chris Creyer is directing The Compliment by Bry Kifolo in the Original 10-Minute Plays by Student Playwrights (April 1, 2, 6 & 7). We asked him five questions. (You can also read playwright Bry Kifolo's interview on this blog.)

Chris performing at Dorney Park
What got you first interested in theatre?
In a sense I've been interested in theatre since I was young, even though I couldn't conceptualize what theatre was until years later. As a kid I would always watch and listen to the Peter Pan VHS performance with Cathy Rigby. After watching I would reenact those scenes and sing along to those songs constantly. Yet, when it comes to that interest in theatre and my eventual involvement didn't occur until high school. The two events that sparked my interest in theatre was watching the Phantom of the Opera during music class and later my Drama Club’s performance of the Sound of Music.  After watching Phantom it left me in awe, those melodic songs were stuck in my head and I began to sing those songs. It was at that moment I realized I could sing but I was still hesitant to audition for the Sound of Music. After seeing the performance twice, it made me realize that I could do those same things and I truly wanted to be on that stage. Afterwards I had an epiphany that theatre was the thing I was so drawn to as a kid and something I wanted to be involved in. The next year I joined Drama Club and took part in Aesop’s Fables and Pippin, which is when that passion was firmly cemented.

What's the most exciting or challenging aspect of directing for you?
The most exciting aspect of being a director is to have a vison for a play and be able to see that come to life during rehearsals and the eventual performance.  The other is to have the opportunity to collaborate with very talented actors and to see them grow, as I guide them to finding the truthfulness in their characters. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with those individuals and to see such passion and talent hard at work.

Which play are you directing and what do you love about the play?
I’m the director of The Compliment and it’s hard to choose just one thing. If I could choose one thing it’s how relate-able the characters are. Their experiences and fears was something that resonated with me. I can see myself at various instances in both these characters either in their personalities, fears, experiences, and how it feels to withhold one’s true feelings and the frustration that comes with it. All of those things stood out instantly and allowed me to bring that truthfulness during rehearsals because I could sympathize with both characters. These things aren't unique to me because I know that people will be able to see a part of themselves in these characters, which is what I truly love about this play. 

What's it like to direct a brand new play?
Being able to direct a new play is definitely a unique experience. The play is literally a work and progress so it’s great to be part of that for the first time. Through seeing how many changes can occur before the play is seen by an audience but they don’t alter what makes the play so great. It’s also been a great opportunity to work side by side with a playwright throughout the entire process. It was very helpful to have that extra insight during rehearsals because it ensured I was meeting their intentions for the play. Ultimately, it’s fulfilling to bring their play to life and to see gratification on their face when they see their work lifted off the page and done in a way that meets everything they intended it to be. I never thought I’d get the experience of directing a new play but I’m glad I’ve gotten that opportunity.

Chris and his friend, Henry Carver
If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
I would be an apple because it’s my favorite fruit and I have one every day. Symbolically, I feel I can be like the apple that struck Isaac Newton because I can be the catalyst that’ll cause someone to do great things either as a director or as a teacher.

Christopher Creyer is a Sophomore Secondary Education History major at Bloomsburg University. He previously directed What Are You Going To Be? for the Directing Class Projects. Chris also works as a performer and supervisor in Live Entertainment at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom.

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