Last week we interviewed the playwright of Catch and Release, which is being presented next week at the Alban Theatre in St. Albans - now let’s hear from Tara Phares Pauley, the director of the play:
Q: For those who haven't seen it, tell us the basic story behind Catch and Release.
Tara: It’s a story of relationships, life and how we change. It takes us on a journey of four characters whose lives entwine in childhood. They each experience life in different ways and change as they grow as individuals. It's a story about people more than the exact situation. It's easy to draw parallels to your own life stories. It's about not being defined by one moment but by life as a whole is what makes us who we are.
Q: Tell us why you wanted to direct this show.
Tara: I proposed this show to The Alban after talking to Jeremy (the playwright). I'm familiar with other plays and musicals he has written and always felt his writing developed wonderfully full characters and put them into life experiences that rang true. They speak and react in very natural ways. So, I asked him what of his plays he would like to see. After he gave me a couple of ideas and I looked thru them, this one caught my attention because it offered some unique challenges and opportunities. It also had me caught up in the lives so completely that I wanted more than the version in my mind.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Tara: I have been around theater a good bit. I had a performance scholarship to Brigham Young University but after a year transferred to Marshall University to finish my BFA. Since then I've acted with, directed and done technical work for many local theaters. I also continue the journey of working on my own non-profit theater visiting schools - Everyman Players.
Q: How challenging is it for the actors to play the same character at such different ages?
Tara: Through challenge we grow. One of the big draws was the fact that this would be a challenging task. Especially given how quickly these changes have to take place. I have a terrific group of actors who have willingly embraced the challenge. It's not a role that you can rely on what you already know, it takes thought and real work.
Q: The playwright is Jeremy Richter, who has a local connection - does that have an effect on the production?
Tara: It has served to be a wonderful experience. Jeremy had made himself very open to to the cast and myself. I've been able to discuss everything from wording of a line to interpretation of a character to his feelings concerning the style of staging. We have a Facebook group for the cast, stage manager and director that we also have Jeremy included in. The cast has been welcome to directly correspond and the shared information has brought a special enthusiasm to the production.
Q: Why would you recommend this show to our readers?
Tara: It's entertaining while easy to invest in emotionally. The story is simple to connect too. It also offers the chance to see a show that employs a rarely used format.
Catch and Release, a play by Jeremy Richter, will be presented at the Alban Arts Center on April 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and April 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. The Alban Arts Center is located at 65 Olde Main Street in St. Albans, W.Va. Tickets are $15 for Adults and $10 for Seniors and Students with valid ID.