Published on December 15th, 2015 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: David C. Jones
David C. Jones is man of many talents with directing, acting, writing, and filmmaking chief among them.
His newest project as a theatre director is Heathers: The Musical, an ambitious and musically-charged re-telling of the 1989 cult movie favourite, brought to Canada for the first time by …Gently with a Chainsaw Artists’ Collective.
We spoke to David C. Jones to find out more about Heathers: The Musical.
What is your involvement with Heathers: The Musical and how did that get started?
Lori Watt acquired the rights for the first production in Canada and approached me to play the Father of JD and Ram. She mentioned she was still looking to confirm a director and I said I wanted to do it. For awhile I was going to act and direct but the scope of the show dictated that I should step out. That and I thought it would be wicked funny to see Nelson Wong in the role.
What drew you to be a part of this production?
This is based on one of my favourite movies. It’s darkly funny and spoke to me. I also had not directed a musical in a while.
Can you share some of your creative process as a director – from the initial planning all the way to opening night?
I always start with the given circumstances – what is in the words written.
She says is “September 1st 1989”. That means school started on a Friday.
She sings “Get out of those tighty whiteys”. That means she can see his underwear.
Then I look at what is implied by the text. Then I work with designers to get a look and feel for the show. Then I play with raising the stakes – how can I make it more dangerous? More sexy? Then character arcs for everyone. How to make them deeper and bigger. Then once we’ve got the grit and the heart, I look at making it funnier. I also bring in other outside eyes near the end of rehearsals to help me catch what I missed.
I have on my workbook “Hereunto Unseen Wonder”. I always challenge myself to not do the expected or repeat what has already been done.
What should audiences expect from this show?
It’s a shocking, funny show. If you don’t know the movie, you will be delightfully surprised. If you do know the movie, you will also be surprised because it is different – and not just because they didn’t sing in the film. The biggest thing though that they can expect is a brilliant sexy cast singing a wicked rock and roll score.
What are the three most important ingredients for a successful stage production?
Casting is everything. Trust is everything. Collaboration is everything. Oh and one more – verification is everything.
Are there any books or authors that have been influential to you so far in your creative journey?
I love to read books on acting (re-reading Konstantin Stanislavski currently) as well as human behaviour (currently The Power of the Enneagram).
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far in your career?
I should have kept my mouth shut.
Also, just keep trying new things. I love scaring myself by taking new risks and new expressions.
What other projects do you have coming up and where can people find out more about you online?
I am working on so many things. I am always working as a corporate performer and creative coach. I am writing a new one man show called The Mystery of the Princess Competition after taking a night class with TJ Dawe and I signed with Lucas Talent a year ago and I am loving auditioning. I am the villain in the new show called The Switch which will start airing in January. Looking forward to that.
For more of David C. Jones, here’s a video of the man himself discussing Heathers: The Musical in more detail!
Our thanks to David C. Jones for speaking with us!
Heathers: The Musical runs January 6th to 17th, 2016 at The York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC. For tickets, call the Cultch box office at 604-251-1363 or order online.