Spotlight on Director, Mr. Krack

Spotlight+on+Director%2C+Mr.+Krack

McKenzie Powell

Mr. Krack, Fall Play Director Interview

Pursue theater arts

I always wanted to be an actor.  When I was a kid, I was infatuated with the Star Wars movies.  I wanted to be Luke Skywalker!

Directing experiences

My first experiences with performing were in elementary school—I was Daddy Warbucks in Annie; the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance; Fudge in The Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  I did no performing in junior high school—we didn’t have a theater program.  I didn’t perform again until my sophomore year in high school!  After high school, I majored in theater during my undergraduate years.  I didn’t start directing until college when I had to take a directing class as a degree requirement.  In college, the only thing I directed was a one act play—and that was in 1993.  I didn’t direct a full length production until 2001 when I directed The Man of La Mancha for the Valley Players of Ligonier.

Special memories

One thing that will always stand out happened during my second year at Latrobe.  Our set was actually constructed backwards and I wasn’t made aware of it until a week before the show opened!  My actors freaked out, but I told them that we couldn’t rebuild the set and that we would have to adapt.  I asked my actors to focus and then essentially flip their blocking (stage movements).  For example:  if they had to cross to a door on the left, they now had to cross to a door on the right.  It was frustrating for sure, but it actually worked out…and the staging actually looked better!

 

Show that was a flop

I wouldn’t say it was a flop, but I was in a play that wasn’t received very well.  There were only 4 actors in the play and I played 10 different characters.  It was such a hard show to do.  The cast was great, the director was wonderful (a former professor from Seton hill), and the script was solid.  It was performed at a local summer theater a few years ago.  Ticket sales were sluggish.  In fact, I think we had 10 people in the audience one night.  Another night, 2 rows of people left during intermission!!!  It wasn’t that the show was bad; the problem was that the show was to dark and heavy for summer theater audiences.  Typically, summer audiences prefer light musical comedies.  This was not that kind of show!

Biggest challenge

Perhaps the biggest challenge was getting the students and community to trust me when I first came to the district.  Students were used to large casts for fall plays before I came to the district.  When I joined GLSD, I selected smaller shows that were well known, but had fewer roles—this allowed actors a better chance for developing as a performer as the scripts I chose were more challenging and richer.

Hard Work

The best thing about being a director is seeing how my work has affected not only the students involved, but seeing how I have affected my audiences.  I love hearing them laugh, or talking about a topic brought up in a play, or even better—I like making my audiences cry!  I like knowing that I have touched their lives in some way.

Student director

The student director has to be, above all, responsible.  The student director also needs to be willing to work hard…needs to be self-motivated and someone who just does things without being told to do them.  The student director also needs to be a leader and well organized.

Most influential factor

I think it’s the whole package. (story, acting, and promoting)

Benefits

Theater has so many benefits—even if the student doesn’t make theater his/her career choice.  Theater helps build creativity, critical thinking skills, confidence, etc.  But most of all, it teaches the importance of team work.  No production can be pulled off alone!

Fire alarm went off during Almost Maine

I wasn’t concerned.  I knew that there was the possibility the alarms would go off as a result of the fog used in the production.  It’s live theater…things happen!