If We Are Women - Director Sherry Netherland Checks In Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Sherry Netherland
If We Are Women is my third main stage production for The Group Rep. My first, Terrence McNally’s Prelude & Liebestod, was a co-directing experience with company member Wayland Pickard, featuring Co-Artistic Director, Larry Eisenberg, as The Conductor. My second project was String of Pearls, by Michele Lowe, an interesting project with 4 actresses playing 27 different characters. Coincidentally, each production was also a repertory project, sharing the stage with another main stage show.

Sharing the stage with another play presents an interesting challenge – how to create the world of your show with the most minimal elements and enable an easy physical transition between the two sets. Both String of Pearls and If We Are Women were mounted with the rep concept in mind, so the directors from both concurrent shows met with the set designer, Chris Winfield, and he figured out a way to make them fit and look unique unto themselves . When we did Prelude & Liebestod, the main stage show was the quirky comedy, Comic Potential, by Alan Ayckbourn. The set for that show was a minimalistic quasi-science fiction television station, so to transform it into a New York City opera house wasn’t too much of a stretch. Really. That’s the truth.

The plays I am drawn to speak to me on some personal level. The playwright somehow invades my soul and I will find myself quoting dialogue from the play even before it reaches the stage.

I have been a member of the company for almost five years. Originally, I came and auditioned as an actor member. With my comedy roots, my previous directing experience had only been sketch comedy, and generally pieces I had written. Prelude was my first drama and I was thrilled to be asked because I was mesmerized by the material and Larry’s performance. I soon discovered that I was more creatively fulfilled behind the curtain than in front of it – ironic because my comedy work has always been on stage, “in 1.”

Next up for me at GRT is my doing a reading from my book of comedy stories, I Was a Cellist in the Marching Band on the second and third weekends in April.

If We Are Women and Cobb continue until April 8th. The schedule of performances can be found via easy links by clicking on the “Home” tab.


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