An Interview with Falcon’s Prelude to a Kiss director Tom Peters:
Falcon Theatre’s latest theatrical offering is Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss, a romantic comedy about Pete and Rita, who face a surprising supernatural obstacle to their marital happiness while on their honeymoon. (In the interest of not spoiling the play, I won’t state the nature of the supernatural obstacle.)
The play is being directed by theater veteran Tom Peters. A long-time high school Speech and Drama teacher, Peters currently teaches at Summit Country Day School and has also taught at Walnut Hills High School, where he initially directed Prelude to a Kiss in the 1990s.
Since this production offers a unique opportunity for Peters to revisit this material, I asked him some questions about directing Prelude to a Kiss for a second time around and what he learned from the experience.
What has changed for you since the first time you directed Prelude to a Kiss?
This was one of the first shows I directed when I was teaching at Walnut Hills High School. The show was new back then and I did it with a student cast sans editing. It is a mature play and it might have seemed provocative at the time for a high school theatre program, but Walnut Hills has a history of doing material that challenges the students and the audience. The students were able to connect with the intensity of young love and that helped to make the production successful.
The biggest difference I sense out of my second attempt is because I am 25 years older and have been married for 25 years longer, my personal understanding of love and commitment has grown and deepened.
Is there anything special about this production that makes it stand out?
After working with high school actors for over 30 years, it is a treat for me to work with age appropriate actors. They bring a depth to their roles that 17 year old actors can only hint at in performance.
What has been the most challenging thing about this script?
The most challenging aspect of this production is the speed in which we are putting it up. Blocking, set, sound, lights and costume are all coming together in just under four weeks.
What do you hope audiences will take away with them after seeing this production?
I hope the audience asks the right questions of themselves. What does it mean to be in love? What does it mean to say “for better and for worse until death us do part”? It is easy to “be in love” when you are young, firm and sexy. What happens to love as we age? Are we prepared for those changes? Love and marriage aren’t for the weak of spirit.
Peters has assembled a talented cast, which include Vernon Burns, Matthew David Gellin, Terry Gosdin, Becca Howell, Russ D. Mcgee, Joy Rolland-Oba, Holly Sauerbrunn, Brieanne Sheehan, Derek Snow, and Arny Stoller.
Prelude to a Kiss run January 29, 30 and February 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13, 2016—closing just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. For more information about the production, including ticketing information, visit Falcon Theatre’s website at http://falcontheater.net.