Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Odd Couple (Female Version) - meet show director Joanna Henry

The Odd Couple (Female Version) is the seventh show (I think) I've directed at LTA.  I've been involved in theater ever since I can remember, doing just about every job imaginable, including performing.  I seem to be concentrating on directing now.  I've directed shows in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, both regional and community, at many different theater companies over the past 20 years or so.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
This one is a comedy!  The last three shows I've directed have been dramas, and although I really love getting into the minds of the characters in the dramas, doing a comedy has been a terrific change of pace and a lot of fun.  There are still challenges to directing a comedy, though.  The timing needs to be just right for the jokes to work.  I've been blessed with a tremendously talented cast who works very well together and brings a lot to the characters and to the show's hilarity.

What do you want the audience to experience with The Odd Couple (Female Version)?
Accept people as they are; love them for who they are.  In the play, Florence's obsessive habits start taking a toll on Olive and their friends almost immediately.  The only remedy Olive can think of (the Costazuela brothers) doesn't quite work the way Olive had hoped, so the two women are forced to agree that they may not be the best of roommates, but they can still be the best of friends.  Acceptance is a key concept in this play.

What made you get involved in theater?  How did you get involved with LTA?
I've loved theater since I was a kid.  In fact, I was at a family wedding a few weeks ago, and one of my cousins reminded me how I would "make" them perform in little plays that I wrote when we were little.  It's always been something I've been drawn to ... the creativity, the collaboration, the discoveries.  It's magical!  I got involved with LTA many years ago when I directed "The Music Man."  It was a great experience, and I've been back many times since!  It feels like home.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theater?
Get involved in any way you can, even if it isn't exactly what you wanted at first.  Get to know the people and the theater, and you'll find your niche.  Becoming a part of the LTA family is a great way to meet people and do lots of interesting and crazy things.  There's no more welcoming group than theater people.
For tickets and information: www.thelittletheatre.com