Adam P. Blais, director of My Father’s Dragon

What’s your “deal?”
My name is Adam P. Blais and I was born, raised, and presently reside in the state of Maine. This summer will mark my 6th season at Theater at Monmouth, having previously worked as a choreographer and volunteer and house manager. I hold a B.A. in Theatre from The University of Maine, and a Masters in Leadership Studies from The University of Southern Maine. In addition to my work as a freelance theatre director and choreographer, I supervise the medical supply inventory for a local hospital, and run the drama departments at Mt. Ararat High School and Middle School.

It’s Only A Play, Waterville Opera House

Tell us a little bit about your path to directing.
My path to directing began as a young child who would coerce his family and friends into putting on plays in his basement. I was extremely fortunate to be introduced to theatre at a very young age, in fact my first visit to Theater at Monmouth was during the 1995-1996 school year to see an education tour production of Aesop’s Fables. Though my work in the theatre initially concentrated on performance and stage management, my focus shifted to directing, and eventually choreographing, during my undergraduate career.

What is your super power?
I needed to call a colleague to help identify my super power. In our brief conversation, I was reminded that one of my commonly used phrases in the rehearsal room is “Why not?” I then realized that my creative super power is the ability to remain subjective and to edit my own work. As an artist, I acknowledge that I will not get things right on the first try. Our successes, are then determined by our ability to recognize our shortcomings, and to adapt and learn from them in an effort to heighten our present and future work.

Michelle Seipel as Mary Turner and Lucas Calzada as John P. Wintergreen in Of Thee I Sing, Theater at Monmouth

Michelle Seipel as Mary Turner and Lucas Calzada as John P. Wintergreen in Of Thee I Sing, TAM

What made you say yes to directing and what part of it gets you excited?
I try to never pass on an opportunity presented to me by Dawn McAndrews and Theater at Monmouth. This company is simply extraordinary. Over the years, Dawn McAndrews has become an incredible mentor to me, and I knew that the opportunity to direct her adaptation of My Father’s Dragon for the 2017 Summer Repertory Season would be an invaluable artistic and educational experience. In regards to the play itself, I was not familiar with the source material before beginning work on the production but I was immediately affected by the stories universal themes of kindness and regard for others. In its simplest form, My Father’s Dragon is the story of a child who sets out on a journey to right a philosophical injustice. The child makes no note of physical and cultural differences but rather sees the world through a lens of equality and harmony. A lens that we should all strive to view the world through.

The Diary of Anne Frank, Mt. Ararat Stage Company

The Diary of Anne Frank, Mt. Ararat Stage Company

 

Who is your favorite playwright and why?
Please don’t make me choose! There are actually two names that immediately jump out at me.

Samuel D. Hunter: The Whale, Pocatello, and A Bright New Boise. The plays of Samuel D. Hunter are filled with ordinary characters in everyday situations; individuals from small towns who are simply trying to survive from one day to the next. While the plots and the circumstances surrounding these characters may seem insignificant, in actuality, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. And two, Tracy Letts: August Osage County, Killer Joe, and Bug. As a playwright, Tracy Letts has no boundaries; he is courageous in his subject matter and always willing to push his material to the place where it will spark the greatest emotional, and sometimes physical, response.

What did you care most about when you were 10 years old?
I was an extremely active child who was involved in many extracurricular activities and groups. I was nervous and often filled with worry. In some ways, I still am. Even at the age of 10, I was concerned about punctuality, doing what I was told, and doing it to the best of my ability. Some things never change.

Describe yourself in three alliterative words.
Driven, Dynamic, and Daring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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