Campus Celebrity Interview with Ellie Gauge, Director of the Gala Show 2014, “Guys and Dolls”
College: St John’s
Degree: Theology and Education
1.) How did you come to be directing Guys and Dolls?
The way that DULOG works is that the society choses a show they’d like to put on and then they hold interviews for the various positions on the Production Team. I was lucky enough to be offered the role of director for the society’s first show this year which gave me a real buzz for directing and led to me applying for the Production Team for ‘Guys & Dolls’. I honestly believe, being offered this role, has a lot to do with me being at the right place at the right time, and jumping at the opportunity when it arose.
2.) What’s been your favourite part of the experience so far?
I’m currently writing this after our opening night performance, and in terms of favourite experiences watching everything come together at the end has got to be high up in the list. It is an amazing feeling watching all your hard work play itself out beautifully onstage. In general though I love the collaboration of everyone involved during the rehearsal process. What’s great about student productions is you get to work with enthusiastic, talented people. I’ve found I’ve learnt so much from the cast, other members of the Prod Team and the crew of this show.
3.) Are you planning on being involved in any other musicals or plays this term?
Of course! You can’t get me away from the theatre scene! I feel ready to take a break from the hectic life of a director, but having said that – as soon as ‘Guys & Dolls’ is over I’m straight into rehearsals for my next theatrical endeavor. After a long stint of being behind the scenes, I’m looking forward to getting back on to the stage. Later this term I’ll be performing as part of DDF, in a student-written play called ‘What’s the Harm?’. I am also one of the team leaders for this years’ DDO Zambia Project (a Durham summer volunteering programme run in conjunction with DST and Experience Durham which builds and supports theatre initiatives across Zambia). As part of our fundraising for the trip we are planning on a putting on a Shakespeare Cabaret in the Assembly Rooms.
4.) Do you have any tips or advice to anyone who might be considering directing?
Just go for it – don’t be afraid. I always worry that I’m not experienced or knowledgable enough, but student theatre is the perfect opportunity to learn and gain experience in new fields. However, as well as encouraging you to jump in head first, I’d say it’s important to be aware that directing a show quite literally takes over your entire life. I have lived and breathed ‘Guys & Dolls’ for the past few months. You have to be ready for a never ending list of questions from people constantly wanting to know your opinion and you should be prepared to be inundated with show related Facebook notifications, texts and phone calls.