Directing? Well, it’s an awful lot like teaching, says Tracy Glover, who’s in charge for Haywards Heath Operatic Society’s production of Carousel.
The show is at Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, from Tuesday to Saturday, October 27 to 31.
A religious studies teacher by day and also mum to a toddler, Tracy first joined HHOS eight years ago, the start of a happy association.
“I have always done musical theatre ever since I was a child. I joined a youth theatre and I was living in Somerset at the time. I moved to this area. I met my husband. And I wanted to join another musical theatre group. I just googled it and found HHOS and went along to an audition for Anything Goes. I did a part with them, and I have done shows with them pretty much ever since.”
She’s done backstage work for other companies, but became assistant director on the HHOS production of The Full Monty: “Hannah, the choreographer for Carousel now, was directing The Full Monty but she was pregnant and knew she was going to give birth during rehearsals. I was always interested in getting into direction. I felt I had a lot of stage experience, and I just wanted to move up to the next stage and take on a little bit more responsibility. I wanted to see if I had a vision I could execute. I would go to see shows and I would be thinking ‘That’s not how I would have done it!’ I assisted Hannah on The Fully Monty and took over from her from July through to the beginning of the show in October. We were really pleased with how it went, and everybody seemed to like what I did.”
So now she’s stepping up to direct for the first time in her own right:
“I think that to be a good director you need to have a clear vision of what you want the show to be, and you have got to be extremely organised. If you can be a teacher, then you can be a director! You need to be able to make your vision clear to your actors, and then you have got to give them direction in the sense that you give them tips, let them try things and then say ‘What about trying this or trying that?’ I am very keen to try to make the relationships as natural as possible, to make the actors playing the parts try to relate it all to their own lives and experiences, to think how they would react themselves. I am very keen on bringing naturalism to it all.
“But I do think it is important for the actors to find their own way. It’s exactly like being a teacher. You have got a vision of the end result, but you have got to let them make their own way there. It’s like a benevolent dictatorship! Eventually they will get to where you want them to be if you let them. Sometimes also you need to play to their strengths and weaknesses. You have got to be able to change your approach.”
Visit www.hhos.co.uk to find out more or book tickets.
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