Blair: I was the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland: The Rock Musical. Other than a one-act in High School, that was my only real theatre experience. I was a little surprised that I was asked to direct this show because I've never directed before, but I'm beginning to see why it was important that I did. Stephen has quite a bit of experience in blocking, acting, and performing, but he never had to worry about being organized for other required things like costumes, the set, hair, and sometimes in choreographing certain numbers. I guess I'm a little ambitious for deciding to take on a world premiere for my first show, but I feel like we are a great team and together, with the help of our talented cast and production team, we have brought together a wonderful production.
6. When did you start directing together? What is your relationship like when you direct together? Is it any different outside of directing?
This is our first time directing together. Since being married, we've worked at several offices together but have always had different jobs so we'd just see each other on lunch or breaks. This was the first time we've actually WORKED together to create something, and we've quickly realized our differences in vision and opinions! When we're at the theatre, we've recognized our strengths and weaknesses and have learned to delegate blocking, costuming, or sets to each other as we see fit. The cast has certainly seen us have some tense moments with differing opinions, vision, and also because we have our young 10-month-old son with us often. Things sure can get stressful at times when you bring him in the mix, but I also know that the cast has seen how much love we have for each other and how it has made us a stronger team.
8. Is there anything else you'd like to say?
The musical has been a wonderful opportunity in our lives and although there have been stress moments and the occasional "freak out," we are so happy that we had the chance to work on this project at the wonderful Empress Theatre. We are excited to see where this goes next-if it continues to be a Salt Lake City tradition or if it gets on a bigger stage. It'll just be wonderful to see what the future holds.
The Empress Theatre was originally built in Magna, Utah in 1916 as a burlesque house for the workers at the nearby copper mine. They started showing silent movies in 1917. It closed in the 1930s and went through a couple of ownership changes before Leo Ware purchased the theater in 1983. It was his tireless efforts that led to the restoration of the theater. The Oquirrh Hills Performing Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing culture and education to the Magna community and surrounding areas, leased the building from the Ware family in 2006, finishing renovations that allowed them to re-open in November 2006. The OHPAA is dedicated to bringing family friendly entertainment to the Magna area and to encouraging participation in the arts to future generations.
The Christmas Box plays at the Empress Theatre through December 22, 2012. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 801-347-7373 or visit www.empresstheatre.com.