If you’re the kind of person who likes to tell others what to do and how to do it, then the Second Street Players are beckoning you.
But the job comes with a few strings attached: they’re looking for directors for the 2018 season, and directing a play isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world.
Just ask Josh Gross, who’s got plenty of experience helming productions at the Milford community theater.
“I directed our production of ‘Grease,’ and we opened the end of July,” he said. “I’d been working on it since November 2016. That involved everything from auditioning the actors to getting the production staff together. And I had to do all of that before we’d even start rehearsing.”
Gross also serves as president of the all-volunteer group’s board of directors as well as publicity director and the guy in charge of stage lighting for many of the troupe’s productions.
Even though he’s got others who direct plays throughout the season, Gross is looking for some new blood when it comes to the upcoming 2018 season.
“I’m looking for anyone who has a love for the theater but who’s willing to take on a lot of work,” he said.
Directors not only give the actors their instructions on what to do and how to say their lines, but they have to do it while keeping true to their vision of what they want the show to look like. Personally, Gross likes to give actors a lot of leeway in developing their characters, working to pull out little nuances in each.
“I just fine-tune the characters they create,” he said.
Gross was doing some of that fine tuning Thursday night, instructing young actors in the upcoming “Dorothy in Wonderland,” a telling of what happens when the worlds of Oz and Wonderland collide. The play runs Oct. 6, 7 and 8.
Other plays remaining in the 2017 season include “The Canterville Ghost,” which runs Sept. 15 through Sept. 24, and the “Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of A Christmas Carol,” a musical comedy showing in late November and early December.
Shows on tap for the 2018 main stage include “The 39 Steps,” “Shrek The Musical,” “The Elephant Man,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and a more traditional staging of “A Christmas Carol.” Children’s plays include “The Frog Prince,” “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Elves and the Shoemaker.”
Working with a group like the Second Street Players can take on a family atmosphere.
“Community theater, to me, is about family,” Gross admitted. “We grow to know these people in every show.
“Every show takes about three months, and they’re part of your family for those three months. Then you move on to the next show, but you take all these people close to you, and you’ve become friends.
“Some of my best friends are people I’ve met in the theater.”
Anyone who may want to take on directing chores should contact Gross at info@secondstreet player.com or visit the website at secondstreetplayers.com.
“It’s about being with people who care about you, you care about them and doing something we all love to do,” he said. “It’s a way to express yourself in a way you might not normally do.
“And,” he added, “it’s just fun!”