Parenting and Directing… Continued

Well, Barefoot in the Park is over. I have survived my first directing job and I am rather confused about how I feel about it.

Don’t get me wrong- the actors were amazing, the sets were incredible and the audiences responded with lots of laughter and positive comments.

The confusing part to me is something that again I can liken to parenting. On the afternoon of our opening it hit me that I was done. I had done all that I could do and from this point forward it was up to the cast and crew to continue. I could not change anything, I could not control anything, I was out.

For this particular show I had decided to help backstage so I was still somewhat involved, but just as a stage hand. Usually at that point a director just walks away.

For a control freak like I am, that was a rude awakening. And just as with parenting, when the day comes for your child to leave the nest, you don’t really know what to think. Have I done enough? Did they learn all they should have? Will they go out and do the opposite of what I had taught or would they listen to they way they had been brought up (rehearsed)?

Once the actors or your child goes out on their own, they can say or do anything. If you did a good job, they will remember what you have said. On the other hand, they might rebel against everything you wanted and you can not do anything about it.

I certainly learned that it does indeed “take a village” to raise a child OR put on a show and it is way easier with a partner. Without my husband building the set, running lights and sound and just being there for me when I got overwhelmed, there would have been no play. Without the guy at the appliance store who found us an old stove or the people who let me borrow props, there would have been a less authentic show. Without the people at the box office there would have been no one to see the show.

I am still in a post show funk, wondering if I ever really want to do this again. I have yet to feel any pride, I just keep thinking how fortunate I was to have had such an experienced group of actors who did the majority of the work. They made me look good and I know that.

For now, I am just thankful that things fell into place the way they did and that I had so many wonderful people around me. I am thankful that the audience laughed and enjoyed themselves. I am thankful to have worked with such fun people and I am grateful that I will have the memories to ponder from now on.


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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.