My Director’s Note from “The Real Thing” program:

My Director’s Note from “The Real Thing” program:

It is with mixed emotions that I look at the idea of having directed the first production under our new banner, The Katselas Theatre Company. Our first performance, April 24, marks the six-month anniversary of Milton’s passing, and never has six months gone by that at the same time seemed so endless, yet so quick to pass. I first worked with Milton when he directed a workshop of Puccini’s La Boheme here at The Skylight Theatre 17 years ago, and I was the rehearsal pianist. “Hey, you, Mr. Piano Guy, Mr. Bagel – no reading in rehearsal!” he famously yelled at me on my first day, as I ill-advisedly munched on breakfast while reading the New York Times in front of his face. And from that moment, we worked together on aomost every aspect of the BHP oepration. I edited his books and articles, ran the classes he taught, apprenticed him when he directed plays or scenes in class, and in 2001 he called me up and ordered me to go teach a class that night – which began the start of something I hadn’t really conceived of prior to that. He paid for my first piano teacher out here, and he even drove to the Valley to observe some of the lessons. I got to be directed by him as an actor a few times, and over the last 18 months of his life, had the immense privilege of teaching with him in the Advanced level classes here. I think the biggest gift he gave me recently, however, was last summer, in the middle of his giving a class some hell for not really studying the art of directing, for thinking that if they pick up a camera and press “record,” they can direct. In the middle of the diatribe, he paused, and asked the room, without glancing at me: “Who here has seen Rabbit Hole?” This was the production I directed last summer in this theatre, and Milton had recently seen a runthrough. A few hands went up – we had just opened the previous weekend. Another pause, and then: “Allen Barton is a director.” As my southern college roommate would have said, That’s high cotton! Thank you, Milton, for a great trip. I’ll be minding the store for you.

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One thought on “My Director’s Note from “The Real Thing” program:


    I went to the Feature Film Informational session a month ago. Could not believe that the Union actually wanted us to offer day rate compensation for actors who appear in our demo reels that are posted online.

    My other issue was that when a a fellow member asked about how honest to be with your agent regarding opportunities that come your way, the response was “well, is it all just about money? So what if you agent doesn’t like it.”

    You are right, a lot of our dollars are being spent chasing dumb shit that isn’t improving our contracts or production values.


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