Director Kim Saunders reveals the magic of Maskerade

In another one of our behind-the-scenes pieces, we get a sneak peak at Wilcox's Maskerade, a bit of fun from across the pond under the direction of Kim Saunders (also part of the Mystery Of Edwin Drood staff from last year).

Paul Sawyer: This is a totally new show to me, so it's probably new to a lot of people. Tell us about the world of Maskerade.
Kim Saunders: I first came across Terry Pratchett’s Discworld when I was searching for a show to direct here in 2006. I was looking for a show that allowed for a large ensemble cast. I found several of Mr. Pratchett’s novels had been adapted by Stephen Briggs for the stage and fell in love with one called Wyrd Sisters. This play borrowed from Mr. Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” but with over the top humor that had me laughing from beginning to end. I am happy to come back to Discworld and bring Mr. Pratchett’s comic take on “Phantom of the Opera” to the stage. This show pokes fun at opera as well as the Broadway musical! While knowing a bit about Discworld, opera or musicals will help with some of the “in jokes” the characters and story stand on their own. As Sir. Pratchett says: There are no maps of Discworld!, You can't map a sense of humor. "He is author of more than 20 books . His style is something akin to what would happen if Monty Python redid Lord of the Rings for a group of highly educated people. Sort of. He's hard to describe."-Wikipedia-

PS: What has the process been like in getting this show up on it's feet? What is your vision for the show?
KS: When I did Wyrd Sisters we had just moved into our new performing arts center and were still exploring everything it could do! In order to utilize many of the lights, sound and other nifty things, I added the concept of poking fun at community theatre like: props falling apart, lights that went wrong, sound cues missed! I have continued that concept with this show and the silliness continues!

PS: You have been working with Wilcox High School for awhile now. What has it been like seeing your students mature and grow through the years? Any great success stories?
KS: Last year when I directed Midsummer, ala Steam punk. I was amazed at the amount of alumni who came back and wanted to help on the project! My heart swelled at how many students have continued in the arts and that I was a part of there finding their voice. That continues with this show. I have an assistant who has graduated from UC Davis working with me. 3 recent graduates of Wilcox are now in a Conservatory program and have been helping as well.  Add to that a mentor who has come back to help with lights and I feel very supported by these students, many who I can now call friends!

PS: It is a Friday night, and I have nothing to do. Tell me why I should go see a high school theatre production if I am not directly involved or connected to it.
KS: Several reasons:
1. The over the top humor and sheer silliness will make for a fun evening.
2. Terry Pratchett's works are not often brought to life on the stage especially in the United States, as he is a British author. 
3. To support this drama department and help keep the arts thriving in this community.

Well put.

Wilcox High School presents Maskerade
Mission City Center for the Performing Arts - Wilcox High School
3250 Monroe St., Santa Clara, CA, 95051
November 10, 17, 18, 19 @ 7pm
Tickets at the door: Students $6, General $10, Matinee $5


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