Jennifer Lyman (Director) has been active in community theater in Northern Virginia for nearly 20 years and has done a little of everything. She started out working on light and sound crews and soon moved up to Master Electrician and Lighting Designer before adding Stage Manager, Producer, and Director to her resume. If you are an avid theater patron you might have caught her on stage in The Will Rogers’ Follies at DS, War of the Worlds/The Shadow at PCP or Footloose at LTA. Jennifer has produced 14 productions including Plaza Suite, Dog Sees God, Intimate Apparel and Hot L Baltimore for LTA, and the WATCH and Ruby Griffith Award winning Betrayal for PCP. She directed A Time for Grace and A Christmas Carol for LTA and The Drawer Boy for PCP. Jennifer is a past board member and president of PCP, and served on LTA’s board for 6 years. She has a Bachelor Degree in Media and Theatre Arts and currently serves as a WATCH judge.
Come see Jennifer’s work with the cast & crew in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!
What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?
BUG is one of the most interesting, unexpected, and layered plays I have come across in a long time. Before I even finished reading it the first time, I knew that I wanted to direct this show. The characters and plot really grabbed me and the complexity of all the elements comprising the show made it a challenge I couldn’t refuse.
How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?
In college, I studied film and television production, music, and writing. I did dabble a bit in theater but it didn’t really grab my attention. After I graduated, I spent my free time working in television production and singing with local chorus groups. Some friends convinced me that I should give community theater a try and they dragged me to the Little Theater of Alexandria to work on the lighting crew. I loved it so much that I dived head first into exploring lots of aspects of theater production and have been expanding my skills ever since.
How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?
This is the darkest and most intense show I have ever been a part of. I thought I would jump right into the deep end with BUG and see how well I, and everyone else, can swim.
What creeps you out the most?
Snakes and sharks are seriously creepy and scary. Self mutilation is also creepy.
What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
I hope the audience leaves the theater and ends up discussing the play, the issues portrayed in it, and how it all makes them feel on their way home. I hope that our production makes them think about the broken people in our society and what they can do to help their struggling friends, co-workers, or the strangers they meet.
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
I would suggest that anyone who has an interest in working in community theater stop thinking about it and just do it. No matter what your skills or talents, there is something you can offer a community theater. Walk up to someone who is already involved, call or email the company and say “Hi, I would like to get involved. How can I help.” Be persistent, as sometimes we theater people get too tunnel visioned on our productions and don’t spend enough time mentoring and including new people in the process.