In the summer of 2012 I was given the opportunity to step into a show at the Indianapolis Children's museum at the last minute because an actor had punctured his lung. He's totally ok now and breathing normally and can be seen in ETC's Comedy of Errors next month... but I'm not going to tell you who he is because it's his business if he wants people to know all about his lungs or not. Anyways, I had a very, very short time to learn a lot of little details about a very fast paced show (and then do it all with an eye patch). At times like these, it's nice to have lovely people around who are not only nice to you, but also talented enough to help you along your way while maintaining the integrity of their own performance. Among the four fantastic actors who beautifully filled this role in my predicament was Jaddy Ciucci.
From the first day I worked with Jaddy I could tell there was something incredibly special about her. Sure she could sing... Sure she could dance... and DAMN she could act. But most importantly, it was obvious from the first time I met her that she had a spark of brilliance lighting up her work that is dazzling to watch and hard to take your eyes away from. Since then, she has had the kind grace to accept roles I've offered her in ZirkusGrimm and DeSade displaying these fantastic talents and ultimately being a large part of what made those shows what they were.
So, when she expressed interest in directing I was delighted.
Most of Q shows are directed by me. This is no secret. People might think this is because I have control issues (probably not completely untrue) or because I think I'm better than everyone else (definitely completely untrue), but the real reason is because I know how hard it can be to work for me as an artistic director. I am demanding and relentless... and I am a workaholic. (I'm required by my addiction program to admit this at least once a day out loud. This article will just have to count for today). But, as Q grows so must I and over the past years others have been given the opportunity to direct and/or dabble in directing. And I'm always on the lookout for those who seem to have the desire and the willingness to stick their neck out and give it a go. Jaddy is the perfect candidate for this and her work on FISHING WITH SEYMOUR DROSTY only proves that this will not be her last opportunity to grace the directors chair.
— Ben Asaykwee
1. It's not an every day occurence that one finds themselves directing a play... what is your reason(s) for doing so now?
I've been wanting to direct for awhile now. I think it took me a little time to realize that I wanted to do it and that I could just get on up and do it.
2. What was your primary reason for directing this
piece in particular?
Ben Asaykwee gave me no choice...Just kidding, he gave me a chance, so I took it.
3. What's your FAVORITE PLAY EVER!?!?!?! Or at least one you really, REALLY like? Or at least one you've seen recently that you've liked? Or at least one you've seen recently? Or at least one you've seen...ever? ...Read? ...Heard about? (I'm only really looking for one answer.. I just wanted to make sure to cover all the bases)
Oh my gosh, I just read an AMAZING play, but I'm not allowed to talk about it. But it was really good, trust me. Plays by John Patrick Shanley are pretty great.
4. What is your favorite personal aspect of the directing process?
Examining all angles and all possibilities. I like that I've had to let my imagination and mind run wild in order to solve a couple of riddles to this play, but that's what was so fun about it.
5. If there was a play about tiny little penguin (not just tiny as in small, but tiny as in the size of peanut... because he was shrunk by something scientific or a warlock or something, that's not important).. a tiny little penguin that can't find his way back to his little igloo (made of used ice-cubes from a fountain drink, probably diet coke if I were to direct)... if a play like this existed, what would you name it?
hmmmmmm...."The Cold and Ominous Oblivion" ? "Grey Area" ? "TUNDRA" ? "Lil Joe's Homecoming" ?
6. If your play was made into a film, who would you like to see in one of the roles (we're talking movie stars here)?
Pass, I got as far as Kathy Bates and Sam Shepard, then thought 'Shia Labeouf' and realized I should watch more movies...
7. Who would you like to starring in the penguin play?
Why do I have to know actors?! How about, Eli (Tonya's kiddo) would play the teeny tiny penguin, and Ty Stover would make a cameo as a friendly Inuit?
8. Are the characters in this piece based on anything/anyone in particular? If so, can you elaborate? (if not, it's cool)
My sister and I used to canoe a lot on the Wolf River in Wisconsin, I've spoken to many a strange, older man's tale in a bar, aaaand I've spent many years as a salty waitress, so in combined experiences: yes.
9. If (or when) your play was to be produced on Broadway and they gave you a dressing room to hang out in during production and they said you could have any ONE thing you desired in that room... but couldn't take it out of the room... what would it be?
A Hot tub?