I remember first hearing about this Ryan person over a year ago, when Artistic Director Geoff was looking ahead to what our second BRSTF season would be. He had a wonderful idea of doing an outdoor Midsummer Night's Dream, and had the perfect director to do it. Geoff knew Ryan from FSU, and respected his ability as a director and thought he would be a perfect fit to join us for the summer.
I had no idea what Ryan looked like, sounded like, what he was all about, etc...however I got my first taste of who Ryan was when we began to correspond via e-mail as we were getting ready to head into the summer. I could tell by his e-mails that he was a very warm individual and not shy at all. The more we corresponded and the more I heard about him, the more I could not wait to meet him.
Ryan has been a joy to work with, and I think the entire cast and crew would agree that this has been a very enjoyable and happy process as we have put up this show. Ryan is a great director, and has done a beautiful job with utilizing the outdoor space that he was given to work with. Despite not being used to being so "rustic", armed with bug spray and his sun glasses he made the best of it and took care of us. Although Ryan knows how he wants a scene to look, he is always willing to listen to actor input. It was a neat experience working with and watching him navigate, orchestrate, and weave together this show.
Bit by bit, and scene by scene the show continued to "get up on it's feet" and Ryan kept seeing visions for how we could improve and add little details to make the show even better.
Ryan not only is a wonderful director, but he is a very caring person too, always wanting to make sure the cast was ok, and being sensitive to various things as we were going through the rehearsal process. Rarely have I ever seen Ryan without a smile, even if he is having a blah day, he is always able to push through it and not let it effect his craft. He is able to focus in on what needs to be done and go for it. We also had a lot of laughter in our rehearsals, which kept things light and fun for all.
We opened the show this past Tuesday to rousing success, and I know that Ryan was proud of all of us. I can imagine as a director opening night is tough. I never got a chance to ask Ryan what he was thinking before opening night and I would be curious as to what he was feeling.
Now that the show is open, Ryan will be headed back up to MD. It will honestly be very weird not have our fearless director for the next couple of weeks, however I heard through the grape vine, that Ryan will be back at the end of the summer. I personally think that will be the true test for us as a cast to make sure the show is as fresh as opening night.
We all want to make you proud Ryan, Thank you for you being you and leading us on this adventure. We will continue to light up the dell - whether fairy or lover, and will make sure to protect the Artistic integrity when you are gone.
We will miss you, but know that you deserve the break- and we will see you soon :)