“Right place, right time,” says English teacher Monica Saxton, referring to how she got her new role directing the Children’s Theatre show, The True Story of The Three Little Pigs.
After beloved Main Stage director Michael D’anna retired, Blake Stage was in need of someone to fill his shoes. Mary Wagner, the previous Children’s Theatre director, gladly took the lead and passed down the Children’s director’s chair to Ms. Saxton.
She has been Mrs. Wagner’s assistant for the least three years, as well as helping her with box office. Aside from helping Mrs. Wagner with previous shows, Ms. Saxton participated in her high school and college productions. While this is her first time directing a show, for Ms. Saxton, it was the obvious next step.
Being a teacher, Ms. Saxton highlights that time management would be a huge aspect of how well she could stay organized. “I am nervous [about] turning in all the forms and getting stuff done on time. Because I also have to teach and grade papers,” she states.
Despite the extra abundance of work, she took on the responsibility anyways. “For these [past three] years I really enjoyed the process. I really enjoyed the students that were in the plays. . . it was an activity I wanted to see continued,” Saxton cheerfully adds.
However, unexpected roadblocks were inevitable with budgeting, school work, weather and students getting sick. “Putting them behind on rehearsal days and working around absent actors can be difficult, but never impossible. Every hurdle is just a matter of adaptability” she says.
Aside from weather, a limited budget is also a struggle. She states, “Everyone on cast usually contributes something prop wise or set wise to what we need . . . they will most likely be providing their own costumes.”
As well as actors bringing in props they are also responsible for building the set. When you have to travel outside the school, each item has to be portable; each piece needs to be able to be flattened, folded, and moved. “Cast members will definitely be assisting with anything that needs to be painted or cut out. . . we might rehearse a little bit and then we’ will do arts and crafts to get things painted and whatever we need,” she explains.
All this hard work and dedication goes towards a goal: teaching a moral. “I want them to kind of get something out of the story, the kind of idea that there are two sides to every story,” she says as a final note. An admirable lesson for children to learn.