Review Fix chats with Jack Dyville from“A Hansel and Gretel Christmas,” who discusses the production and who will enjoy it most.
About the Production:
“Hansel & Gretel Christmas” concerns the famed wondering waifs now lost in the big Apple at Christmas. Aside from uproarious humor and clever dialogue, the piece talks of love and family; understanding and encouragement; and is a perfect vehicle to share with the whole family.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Jack Dyville: I wanted to present a family holiday show and felt since our 2013 Ten-week engagement of HANSEL AND GRETEL CHRISTMAS was a huge success at Roy Arias Theatre in midtown at the same time my Youth Theatre in Williston ND, Youth Education on Stage was doing 8 performances with two seperste casts; that this would be perfect to revive in the city.
And 5 years ago, my co-founder/producer David Gillam Fuller was active assisting. Since he has been in residence at Riverside Rehabilitation and Nursing Home since January 2018, this too was a perfect tribute to him during our first 10 years.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Dyville: With this production, though I have been directing for more than 30 years I tried a new approach for me, one I have heard other directors talk about. I sat down and blocked the entire show ahead of time since we were going to have a most limited rehearsal period. Then before a blocking session, I spent time giving the blocking, having the actors write everything so we were on the same page. Then when running the scene, in every instance but one or two, blocking worked beautifully. We saved so much time this way. What was I waiting for the last 29 years. Proves no matter our age or years of experience, we all can learn new things and ways to may the process easier and efficient.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special from the original?
Dyville: First, I was so pleased with the NY premiere and the original cast but I wanted something different. Being the script is published with Brooklyn Publishing, I told them I had a new approach with the role of the selfish StepMother. They said, “You wrote the script, interpret it how you choose.”
We’ve had a beautiful and talented Columbian actress with the FACT Co. for years. I wanted her in the show. She has an obvious accent but I asked if she could make it even stronger and asked her to add some Spanish lines and asides. This has made her more than a conniving stepmother but has added charm, class and comedy to the role. We now refer to her throughout the show as Priscilla, a Sophia-Vergar-Wanna-Be.
I love the fact that it also spotlights and the Latino community.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Dyville: Probably more than ever to trust my instincts and let my creativity take charge. The cast has worked with me 100%.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production or your company for the future?
Dyville: As this script is published, because I am so proud of this new version, I may ask the publishers would like to read it and who knows maybe have both versions in their catalog. As for the remainder of our 10th season going through Spring 2019, we have already been selected to compete in the Manhattan Repertory Theatre WinterFest Play Competition in late January. In February, I plan to bring back to the FACT table our very popular series The 24 Hour INSTANT THEATRE, 6 ten minute plays written, directed, memorized and performed publically in approximately 24 + hours.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Dyville: I personally am writing a Youth play for Williston for the winter months with a cast of 25+ entitled THE FANTASTICAL WINTER CLOCK. I will not be there to direct or see the show. In March, I am co-directing and choreographing a production of Mamma Mia.
THEN in May, we will plan something special I hope to finish up the 10th Season and it will again be dedicated to David Gillam Fuller.