As both a writer and a director, I have a very clear plan for how I would like to see the lines from my plays delivered. While writing the scene I can “see” it all in my head. And while rehearsing the scene, I do my best to transfer that vision to my actors/actresses. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.
A couple of years back I had the privilege of directing Johnny Be Good, a ’50s musical (an allegory about the prodigal son). The cast seemed to take to my ideas willingly and the first few performances came off well. However, on closing night (with several special guests in the audience) a handful of the kids decided to re-write the lines. I honestly thought the first one was a slip-up. The second? Not so much. Remember. . .the story was set in the 1950s. The lines the kids had re-written were modern. Stuff about the Internet.
What in the world?
When the light went down for intermission, this chubby director went flying from her seat. I ran backstage, where I gave my cast a piece of my mind. Let’s just say I put the fear of God in them. They’ll never forget it. Neither will I.
And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program. . .
If you’ve read The Director’s Cut, you know that Tia (a director) wishes she could control just about everything. She loves the fact that the lines in the weekly sitcom are scripted. She wishes her life outside the walls of the studio were scripted, as well! Unfortunately, THOSE characters (her father, her brothers, her younger sister) are writing the script as it goes along, and they’re coming up with some goofy lines, much like my Johnny Be Good cast members.
Remember, folks: those around us have free will. They can do and say as we please. We can pray for them, sure, but in the end, they are responsible for the scripts they write.