The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) reports that its upcoming symposium, “Directing Comedy: A Serious Business,” has sold out and that more than 100 people have registered for the three-day event. “Directing Comedy” takes place April 6-8.
“We’re going to look at directing comedy from several different aspects,” said SDCF’s David Diamond. The SDCF symposium will give masters of comedy direction an opportunity to get together and share their collective wisdom about one of the more precious and elusive skills in entertainment -- comedy. Diamond said that acknowledged pros will talk shop and provide valuable insights. For instance, playwrights will discuss their relationship with directors, and actors will discuss the unique and collaborative nature of their relationship with directors. All of the discussions will focus on the central theme of creating comic moments on stage.
Kathleen Marshall will be on hand to address musical staging and the challenges of doing comedy in a musical comedy.
There will also be an in-depth workshop where the audience will be able to watch master directors working with actors and “early career directors” on short comedic scenes. “The actors will present short comedic scenes and then the directors will work with the actors and new directors in front of an audience,” Diamond said. “It will be as if they were in rehearsal, developing the scene to greater comic effect.”
At this time, SDCF’s speaker/participants for the symposium include Christopher Ashley, Andrei Belgrader, Lea Delaria, David Hirson, Bill Irwin, David Ives, Sue Lawless, Emily Mann, Kathleen Marshall, Maxine Marx, Bob Moss, Austin Pendleton, Martin Platt, Gene Saks, Marilyn Sokol, Dan Sullivan, Stephen Wadsworth, Paul Weidner and Jerry Zaks. According to an SDCF paper statement, the symposium will comprise seminars, master classes, workshops and opportunities for directors to exchange ideas. Topics for the event include Improvisation, Moliere and Marivaux, The Actor's Perspective and Playwright/Director Collaboration and more.
-- By Murdoch McBride