The Boy is directing his first play--a one-act called "Eternal Life: The Show", written by John Andreini.
I sit silently, watching seriously and with an outwardly critical eye, looking for ways to help, details to suggest. I'm the responsible "overseeing adult" in the room. But the smile inside pushes its way to my lips. Inwardly, I feel as warm as the sun. The Boy is directing his first show. He's talked about it since last spring, when he was given the honor of being one of four upperclassmen drama students to do so. And he is in his element. Oh, yes he is. Absolutely and totally.
He has been by my side for...one, two, three, four, five shows now? I've lost track, but I can see that it was time well-spent. I see definite earmarks of 'the Schaefer School of Directing'. I see him watching intently; I see him mentally acting along with his actors as they go through the scenes; I see him up on his feet, demonstrating what he wants from them--yes, a hands-on director. Good. I see him pushing them, nudging them, encouraging them. But mostly, I see him smiling and laughing, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying the process. His eyes light up when he adds a new bit, a defining detail, when he gets what he wants from his cast. It's beautiful to behold. His delight in his craft is infectious. It infects his cast--they would follow him anywhere. It infects me. He's 'making magic', he says, and he's right.
His show is cutting edge. It's exactly what he would choose--something that will raise eyebrows and cause controversy: Satan and God appearing on a game show together to vie for someone's soul. Eek. It's, uh, not for the easily shocked, it definitely pushes the envelope.
He has a good and dependable cast--all are experienced actors; some are great; all are talented--perfect in their assigned roles. He cast it perfectly. They are malleable, directable actors, and he is their leader. There is but one director and it is him.
Many shows, I've done now. Each show I've directed has been an experience unto itself, a lifetime, lessons learned, new friends and alliances made, a spiritual journey, a covenant between the director, the actors, and the audience. I've done 30 such shows. This is his first and I'm thinking that it won't be his last.