FRED @ Fringe Update #5

From the Director…

The joy of being a writer is that your imagination allows you to create a play without limits. The characters, their collective and individual narratives, and everything else that makes a story accessible to its audience is at your disposal.

Actors Ryan Stewart and Anna Reardon having some fun between scene rehearsals. Thankfully, the hostility their characters feel for one another is left on the stage! (Image courtesy Ryan Stewart. Used with permission.)

The joy of being a director is that your imagination allows you to interpret a play in a personal and creative manner so that the writer’s story and message are conveyed in a way that engages the audience.

The joy of being a producer is that you make things happen. Producers are the backbone of every show—producers produce, after all! There’s no such thing as “can’t”. The most impossible of requests not only become a possibility, but very much real.

Strangely (or, not so strangely) enough, merging all three roles is not always so joyful. As a writer/director/producer, the script is created and developed with the foresight that the play will be produced in a relatively short period from the script’s completion. So how then, does this impact the writing? Putting it simply, a playwright who will be directing AND producing their work knows that the script needs to be logistically and financially responsible, because it will be their job to make it materialise. There is a risk of self-censoring/restricting what goes on the page long before fingers hit the keys.

This juggling act of these roles has been a welcome challenge, like being thrown in the deep end in the hopes that you will learn to swim, only much safer. It helps to have a producing partner (Fulya Kantarmaci) and assistant director (Phillip Hunting) to support your every move. Needless to say, this support and sense of safety comes from a team of talented artists who are developing their crafts, as well as learning from and teaching one another at the same time. When producing a show such as Michael and Phillip Are Getting Married in the Morning, confidence in your colleagues is paramount. Working on building trust in the early stages of the process is proving beneficial, and yet this will continue to develop as rehearsal time becomes more pedantic.

It is rewarding to see the team’s developing bond on stage as well as in-between scene workshops and rehearsals. As we get closer to full run-throughs, my juggling of roles and the team’s trust in one another will work together harmoniously—it has to.

Keep track with how we’re going! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest developments in the production of Michael and Phillip Are Getting Married in the Morning.


Wayne Stellini is an executive member of the FRED the ALIEN Productions team. He has written and directed episodes of UNI-Bums, and produced FRED’s stage debut, The Writer, in 2016.

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