For the first time, YAA has invited one of our “young artists” to work on the other side of the table and work along side our Stage Director as an Assistant Director. We’re proud to introduce Vinny Douglass, who will assistant direct our spring production of Les Miserables, featuring over 250 young performers, including a combined chorus from Seneca Valley High School. We had a chance to chat with Vinny. Check out the interview below!
When did you first start getting interested in directing?
I first developed an interest in directing my junior year when my theatre class put on a performance of As You Like It, and I helped my teacher block a few scenes and helped some of my friends with the delivery of their lines.
What does the opportunity to be an assistant director for YAA's Les Miserables mean to you?
I am so grateful to Rolando and Kristina for trusting me with this opportunity! Les Miserables is such an amazing show to get to explore a lot of different creative ideas, and the Strathmore stage is an incredible venue to do so on.
What are you most looking forward to in the process?
I’m really forward to working with Stage Director, Kristina Friedgen, and putting our heads together to stage numbers like Master of the House and large scale scenes like Building the Barricade where everyone in the Company is involved.
Who are your favorite stage directors and why?
My favorite stage director has to be James Lapine who directed Falsettos, Sunday In The Park with George, and Into the Woods among other productions. I love the way he can work an ensemble together in any space and his uses of color and light to pull focus in scenes.
What are you most nervous about in the role of assistant director?
I’m most nervous about getting my ideas across to the actors clearly, as I’ve been told I can be a bit unorthodox when giving directions. I get very excited when ideas come to me, and I don’t want to come across as unprofessional.
What do you view as the most important responsibility you have as an assistant director?
I think the most important responsibility is being reliable and organized when it comes to the work I am given and tasks I am expected to complete. It is my responsibility to be someone both Rolando and Kristina can lean and depend on when it comes to staging and blocking.
What would you like to tell the performers you will be directing?
I want to tell the performers that they can trust me to put my best efforts forward for this production and that my goal is for this to be YAA’s best performance yet. I believe it will be because of the amazing cast we have!