By: Julian Quao
Staff writer, Julian Quao, interviewed Ravenscroft School’s Director of Theater, Mr. Jason Sharp about the school’s theater program and his experiences in theater.
What do you think makes Ravenscroft theater program unique?
Clearly our facilities set us apart from most theatre programs. The opportunity to perform in a studio theatre such as the Young Peoples’ Theatre is an exceptional one as it allows an intimacy with the audience seldom experienced by young performers.
What is exciting about being a director in your opinion?
I’ve been directing professionally for 17 years. What I enjoy most about the process is the opportunity to collaborate with so many other artists. My philosophy is to bring in the best people you can and to trust them to do their part! When many voices are heard and visions are completed, the final project always exceeds expectations.
Is there any anxiety or stress that comes with being the director? If so, how do you handle it?
I find that the amount of anxiety I experience is directly proportional to my level of preparation. When I’m ahead of the game, things fall into place. When I haven’t done my homework, I wake up at all hours of the night panicking about all the areas needing my attention. The best remedy for panic is to stop and take a step forward, then another, then another.
What is your process when it comes to directing?
As for working with actors, I feel it is critically important to encourage their own creativity. With that in mind, I allow any and all acting choices made during the first few weeks of rehearsal. This allows actors a safe space, where they know their ideas will be respected and encouraged. If there exist moments of the play that don’t quite fit with the scenes around them or the style of the production, we can always shape those moments in later rehearsals without ever stifling an individual’s creativity.
What are some of the best things that come with being a director?
I love when everyone is leaning in to a project, exploring possibilities, laughing, failing boldly, laughing more and the joy inherent when the curtain closes after a great run.