Stage Write: ‘An Interview with Director Kathy McCrory’ by Teresa McCormick Ertel

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Reisterstown Theatre Project is presenting its spring selection, Narnia – the Musical, with a cast of all ages. The magical production is directed by local teacher Kathy McCrory. The adventure opens Friday, March 2nd and runs through this weekend. Here Kathy tells us about her foray into the world of Community Theater and why she chose to direct Narnia .

Teresa: Tell us about your journey into theater life.

Kathy: I was recruited to help our pastor put on a musical for our parish about 12 years ago. I had never sung or been on stage before, but ended up with a part as well as helping to direct The Music Man. Another teacher and I were only supposed to observe so that we could learn how to work with middle school children and set up a drama department in our school. It opened up a whole new world for me, and I have never looked back. We were a group for 5 years and put on five years before our pastor left and most of our group fell away. I met some wonderful people and it opened doors to other community theatres in the Baltimore area.

What is it like to work with Reisterstown Theatre Project?

RTP is a small community theatre that is struggling to bring the theatre experience to the Reisterstown area. All the members of our group are close friends and work closely together with the rest of the group to choose plays that will get the community interested in theatre. I think Narnia is one of those shows that we hope the community will enjoy.

What drew you to Narnia – the Musical?

Director Kathy McCrory. Photo provided by Yuriy Benkler.

I had stage Managed Narnia about 6 or 7 years ago for another company and fell in love with it. I thought it would be a great show that would draw both young and old to see and take part in the show. So far I think that is so. We had 80 people audition for the show of  all ages. Now we hope that we get many community members to come out and see it.

What is your favorite scene and song from the show?

There are a couple of scenes that I like best. One of them is when we open the curtains to see the witch’s castle for the first time, and the song I like best is “From the Inside Out.” That is [sung] between Aslan and Edmund. It shows Edmund realizing he made a mistake and wants to change and forgiveness.

Narnia has some iconic archetypes: heroes, villains, and coming of age all wrapped into one. What character or characters do you relate to?

Not sure that I identify with any one character, but I like the children, and watching them go from being children, to growing up a little and taking responsibility for each other. I am the oldest of five, and can relate to Peter keeping track of his younger brother and sisters.

What is your vision for the magical and imaginary land of Narnia, and how are you bringing it to life?

Cast of 'Narnia the Musical.' Photo from Reisterstown Patch.

We have very little in the way of resources to make things really magical, but with the use of lights and the characters themselves making the magic. .

How would you describe your style of directing?

My style of directing is like my teaching style. As a stage manager, I watched different directors, and picked up little tips that I figured would work for me. As a teacher, I have learned to work with children and adults. I like to keep things moving and everyone engaged. Encourage everyone to do their best, and never worry about mistakes. It will all come together in the end.

Narnia – the Musical plays through March 17, 2012, at Reisterstown Theatre Project at Franklin Middle School – 10 Cockeyes Mill Road, in Reisterstown, MD. For tickets call the box office at (443) 246-6401.

LINK:

Read “Narnia” Comes to Life by Staci Wolfson in Resisterstown Patch.

Read Amanda Gunther’s review of Narnia – the Musical on DCMTA.

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Teresa McCormick Ertel
Teresa McCormick Ertel is a local writer, instructional assistant, and actress as well as board member for the Glyndon Area Players. She has experience both onstage and behind the scenes in productions such as Beauty and the Beast, Godspell, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, It’s A Wonderful Life, Wizard of Oz, and Oklahoma! Her favorite role would have to be Fruma Sarah, performed on stilts. She has also worked as an entertainment agent. A former Walt Disney World cast member, Teresa gave tours of the sound stage and production areas, and performed as an entertainer and puppeteer. With a background in English Literature and Education, Teresa enjoys marrying her love of writing and theater and interviewing actors and directors. She is thrilled to be writing her column 'Stage Write' for DCMetroTheaterArts.