Lee Gaw and Diane Miller

by Cathie Raina

Our spring play, ‘An Inspector Calls’, is directed by Diane Miller and assistant director Lee Gaw. In our articles, we always focus on the actors, so, this time, I thought we should shine a light on the people who direct the play. Diane is very experienced and has directed many plays for KPI, and Lee has often assisted her. Both are experienced actors as well, and have been in numerous plays.

Directing is the most daunting of tasks. It starts with choosing the right cast, which is crucial, as all the actors have to blend perfectly with each other and with the character they play. Once the play is cast, it has several readings before it moves to the stage for the blocking. In this case, Diane has seven people under her wing to coach, and it’s like moving pieces on a chess board.

And, for every move that Diane makes, Lee writes it down – erases it all – and writes it down again! No actor starts a rehearsal without a pencil with a good eraser. It takes months of rehearsals for a play to come together, with the entrances, exits, and the flow of the actors on stage. Every move has to be natural and to mean something. No one gets up, sits down, moves to a window, door, or anywhere else on stage without a reason. Every item that an actor picks up or puts down has been planned and rehearsed. The actors are coached on how to deliver their lines, the speed of their delivery, and how to keep the tension rising at a controlled pace.

The actors may make suggestions, but the director has the last word and the cast respects this, for the director and assistant director can see what the actors on stage cannot. Diane and Lee see the tableau forming night after night, until every line and move becomes part of the actor and the play is ready for Opening Night. Diane, with Lee’s help, has skillfully directed the play, and the ensemble acting does justice to this riveting drama. See for yourselves what happens when a mysterious police inspector knocks on the door of an upper class home in England in 1912. He has come to question the family about the death of a young woman. The family reacts in disbelief and horror, as the inspector relentlessly questions each one. See ensemble acting at its best, as the family is pushed towards an unforgettable ending.

‘An Inspector Calls’ – May 10-13 at the Urbandale Arts Centre at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. Curtain is at 7:30 pm, with a 2:00 pm matinee on Sunday. Dinner theatre is at 6:00 pm on Saturday, with tickets available for just the show, if required. Tickets are $15.00 and $45.00 for the dinner theatre. Tickets available at B&H Grocers, Business Strategies, the Municipal Centre, and at the door. Online tickets at www.kemptvilleplayers.ca.

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