An Interview with Full Monty Director John D. Glover
Marketing Associate Jeff Meyer interviewed The Full Monty Director & Kokandy Co-Artistic Director John D. Glover to learn more about what Chicago can expect from the first production of Kokandy’s 2015 Season.
JM: Why did you chose to do The Full Monty? Why do The Full Monty now and in this city?
JG: After a season that was predominately dark and formidable, we wanted to lighten things up in 2015. We chose THE FULL MONTY because we feel it has the right blend of humor and heart. In addition, we knew the production had not been performed by a non-Equity company in Chicago for quite a long time, if ever, so we thought it would hold great appeal for both actors interested in being cast as well as the general theater-goer.
JM: What’s unique about Kokandy’s production?
JG: More often than not, this show is done on a proscenium stage; however, we have the ability to get creative in the intimate black box space at Theatre Wit that will be the home for THE FULL MONTY. We plan to take full advantage of this intimacy and bring the audience closer to the characters and the story, immersing them in the blue-collar steel mill world of Buffalo, New York. Our hope is that the audience will have more fun and truly “connect” with whatever is happening before them.
JM: What’s your favorite song in the show? Why?
JG: My favorite song has to be “You Walk With Me.” No matter how many times I’ve seen this show, that song always brings me to tears. It is pure heart, expressed with all its vulnerabilities and raw emotion. The song represents a “turning point” in Malcolm and Ethan’s evolving relationship, and it exemplifies what true friendship is all about.
JM: What do you want the audience to take away from the show?
JG: I want our audiences to jump on this emotional roller coaster and go for a ride that is human, funny and touching all at the same time. I hope to see them laughing one minute and crying the next as they relate to and with these very real characters and each of their personal journeys of discovery and perseverance. And of course, I want them all to be telling their friends, family, acquaintances and anyone else to come see this good-natured tribute to the human spirit!
JM: Why is Kokandy a company Chicago should support? What is special about it to you?
JG: Kokandy Productions seeks to leverage the heightened reality of musical theater to tell complex and challenging stories, with a focus on contributing to the development of Chicago-based musical theater artists, and raising the profile of Chicago’s non Equity musical theater community. We are one of only a few non-Equity companies dedicated solely to musical theater. We strive to “raise the bar” as it pertains to production values, the actors we cast and the design teams we assemble. Additionally, we want to support new musical theater playwrights by presenting staged readings of their works to a public audience for input and feedback. In the future, we hope to produce several of these works and be a catalyst in fully realizing the development of a piece from its early stages to completion. It’s special to me because I’ve been a part of it from the ground floor, because I adore both Scot (Executive Producer) and Allison (Co-Artistic Director), because our commitment to quality resulted in eight Jeff Award nominations our very first year of eligibility, because we have created a momentum among the theater community of artists and designers who want to work for us and because it allows me to pursue one of my greatest passions – theater!!!