The Credeaux Canvas Q&A
In this Performing Arts Q&A session, I speak with Emily Etherton, the Director of Ghostlight Theatre’s production of The Credeaux Canvas.
How do you briefly describe The Credeaux Canvas?
The Credeaux Canvas follows an art student and his roommate as they hatch a plan to forge a painting by an obscure French artist, sell it to an unassuming art collector, and become instant millionaires.
Why should one see it?
It’s a well-written, heart-wrenching drama with a few twists and turns, featuring some really impressive acting.
What are some issues the story deals with?
The script deals with the themes of friendship, love, deceit, and longing to find one’s way in the world.
What makes your version special?
Located in the Paseo Arts District, we’re in the perfect type of atmosphere for a play about struggling artists. We were able to pull from the tremendous talent found in this area to create the paintings and other art pieces needed for this production. It was a very collaborative effort.
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
The nude scene. The script calls for both the male and female lead to be nude for almost an entire scene. It was a great challenge to block that scene effectively, discretely, and remain true to the playwright’s intentions. Luckily, my actors were on board for a challenge from the beginning and were amazingly fearless with their characters.
How did you grow as director while working on this show?
This play has some beautiful dialogue, but even more beautiful, in my opinion, are the silences between the characters. It has been a pleasure, and a learning experience, to direct the silences.
What advice would you share to other directors looking to put on The Credeaux Canvas?
Don’t over do it. This script is full of great emotional moments. Play the truth, not the drama.
What scenes do the actors enjoy?
All of the actors get such great material to sink their teeth into, that it’s hard to say which one scene would be the favorite. If I had to make a guess, it would Act 2, Scene 1. It’s a pivotal moment for all of the characters, with a lot of action taking place.
Share you thoughts on the set and how the actors enjoy it and interact with it.
This set is our most realistic set to date. Scott Hynes (who does double duty as actor and technical director) has set the bar extremely high for any upcoming productions. The Credeaux Canvas is set in an artist’s cluttered apartment in a fifth floor walk-up in the Village in NYC. The set captures the essence of the neighborhood and the personality of its inhabitants beautifully.