This week’s Director’s Spotlight is on Larry Quiggins.
- What is your name and how old are you?
- Larry D. Quiggins, 55 years old
- What social media links can your fans follow you on?
- I have a Facebook account. Click here to check it out!
- What hobbies do you have, beside theater of course?
- I enjoy collecting Comic Books and other collectibles.
- What do you do for a living when you’re not performing?
- I’m currently a Professor at Lindenwood University
- How long have you been directing?
- 35 years
- In that time, what shows have you directed?
- Moon over Buffalo
- Noises Off, Anything Goes
- Guy & Dolls
- The Good Doctor
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
- Adventures of Cookie-Man, just to name a few.
- What are your top three favorite shows that you have directed?
- All My Sons
- Into The Woods
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- What are your top 3 shows you would love to direct?
- Young Frankenstein
- Barefoot In The Park
- Camino Real
- What theater companies have you acted with?
- Lindenwood University
- Heartland Players
- Chesterfield Y Rep
- Hawthorne Players
- Cocktails & Curtain Calls
- First Run
- Florissant Valley Community College
- What nominations and awards have you received?
- Hairspray received 19 nominations for 2017 Arts for Life.
- Best Director and Best Set Design nominations for myself.
- Oliver received 3 nominations for 2002 Arts for life awards.
Following one’s passion can often be paired with challenges.
I would like to personally thank Larry for taking some time out of his obviously busy schedule to answer our “10 Questions”, as well as a few follow up questions I had for him.
Larry clearly has a strong passion and vast knowledge of the theater community. I was curious as to what motivates or drives that passion. Larry said he loves working in the theater whether it be in the community or professionally.
He continued by saying, “Every show I work on, I learn something whether it be as a director or an actor. Working with others who share my passion to tell stories teaches me to see things in different ways. I think theatre is fun and I want to share that with others.”
Many of us have a passion, some discover that passion early in life, some not until later. Just as there is something within a person that drives the passion, such as working with others to tell a story and sharing with his audience drives Larry, many times there can be challenges.
Larry’s response to what he thought challenges Community Theaters face was extremely insightful and well said. He stated, “The challenges that Community Theatre has today is making sure they don’t choose plays that they do not have the proper actors for. There are many plays such as Dreamgirls, Raisin in the Sun, Hairspray, Ragtime, and others that are passed over because they can’t find the community actors to fill the roles.”
He also expressed, “There needs to be a better network for trying to draw new people in. I had to search in the music circuit to find “The Dynamites” for Hairspray last year. Those three young ladies had never been in a play and once I connected with them, they wanted to see what the theatre world was like. They were professional singers, but they came to theatre.” Larry obviously feels the three ladies did “pretty well” as they won the 2017 Arts for Life award for Small groups in a musical.
On the University level, the Director said he felt one of the biggest challenges was to make sure the students are exposed to all genres and type of theater available. He feels this enables them to discover what they are most passionate about.
In closing, I asked Larry what advice he had for those new to the theater. This Director’s advice is:
“For those who are new to theatre or haven’t had any formal training I would just like to impress upon them that theatre is a growing and always a learning process. Even those who have been doing it for years learn from each new experience. Each experience will make you stronger and help you find your identity on stage or off. Confidence is the key. Remember, we do what we do because we want to tell a story and to entertain. The play’s the thing!”
~Larry D. Quiggins
Again, thank you to Larry for giving us some insight to his Director’s World! We look forward to seeing future productions!