Q & A with Motherhood Out Loud Director Harry Patrick Christian
We love seeing you in Dreamcatcher shows. (Harry is a long-time member of Dreamcatcher’s resident acting ensemble.) Have you directed before, and how has this experience backstage been for you?
Harry: I love acting most, but I’ve also been a director for a long time. I directed Marsha Norman’s “The Laundromat” at Luna Stage, and last summer I directed a play for the Strawberry One Act Play Festival in NYC. In the past few years I’ve been directing a lot of shows for kids at Essex Youth Theater in Montclair and for Pushcart Players in Arizona and New Jersey. Being backstage is not easy for a big old ham like me, but it’s also nice to place a more personal imprint on certain plays and productions by directing once in a while.
In the past two years we’ve seen you perform with every actor in this cast. What’s it like directing your friends who are normally your onstage peers?
Harry: Directing anyone is a delicate proposition because every actor requires unique handling. Directing friends is easier in some ways because you already know and trust each other. On the other hand it can be trickier because you’re in a position where you sometimes have to be critical to someone you really like a lot. Luckily, this cast knows we’re all pulling together in collaboration and everyone is incredibly supportive of each other.
“Motherhood Out Loud” sounds brassy. Am I going to be yelled at for two hours?
Harry: The title “Motherhood Out Loud” is not about shouting… LOL… it refers to storytelling: stories told and acted aloud, so to speak.
Is this a female play or is there something for men in it, too?
Harry: This show is not for women only. I don’t think I would have been asked to direct the play if that were so. The cast is made up of three women and one man who play many different characters telling stories from the point of view of both sexes and portraying people of all ages. This show is for anyone who has ever had a mother. (That’s almost everyone I know!)
Does this show really have 14 playwrights? What’s up with that? Is it difficult directing around 14 different writing styles to create a single cohesive performance?
Harry: The play really does have 14 writers and is a collection of plays, monologues, and dramatic fugues. The trickiest part of directing the different writing styles is helping the actors bring to dramatic life some pieces that are written in prose; but I think we’ve figured them out.
Is “Motherhood Out Loud” appropriate for kids? What ages?
Harry: The play is rated PG-13 and it will make you laugh and cry and have the kind of experience that only live theater can bring to our lives. I hope people love the show!
Director Harry Patrick Christian
Harry directing on the set of Motherhood Out Loud