Sunday, November 16, 2014

'Redneck' Director Talks Vision

“Redneck Christmas” is this is the directorial debut for Scott Tramel. He jokes that while most directors have certain qualifications such as vision and storytelling ability, it appears that his main quality was his availability.
Scott Tramel
Photo by Paul Wood Photography

Actually, his playful good-naturedness and ability to find humor in almost anything is precisely why he was the perfect candidate to direct A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas: The Musical.  

We caught up with Scott during rehearsals for “Redneck Christmas” to learn about his vision for the show – and yes, his joking aside, he does have a vision.

Q: Tell us about your vision and inspirations for your production.

TRAMEL: I want the production to be funny, entertaining, and filled with Christmas spirit. The heart of the play is about relationships and there is a lot of humor to be had there. These characters are people we have met before and we have been in these types of situations so the play holds a mirror up to us and shows us how funny life can be. 

As I read the script I kept thinking of the sitcoms from the ’70s and ’80s. The humor comes from the situations and the characters. So I approached the directing of this as if it were a sitcom. This is one of the Christmas specials from one of those sitcoms.

Q: What are the challenges to staging this production?

TRAMEL: I really wanted a funny play and there were some areas in the script where I thought the humor could be amped up. Also, this is a musical and I have absolutely no musical ability. 

To boost the humor quotient, we put together a production staff and cast that are funny and they have responded perfectly. Everyone contributed to creating a production that draws out every bit of funny that the play has to offer.

For the music we had great people that are able to make up for me being tone deaf. We have some real talent at SLT and they helped out greatly. Also, to help make the songs more entertaining, we added dancing girls to the mix. Any song is that much better with dancing girls.

What can audience expect to see?

TRAMEL: A funny and sweet Christmas musical. In this production we really have some of the things that make community theater so great. We have experienced actors but we also have actors that have never been on stage before. We have people back stage that work hard together to bring the vision to the stage. All these folks put in long hours to make this production happen and all for the love of live theater. So expect to see a fun play brought to you by your friends at SLT.

A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas: The Musical  is on stage at Slidell Little Theatre weekends November 28 - December 14.

Scott Tramel, center, helping with scene change.
Photo by Christie Roy

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