Monday, October 14, 2013

The Question... Jon Corkal on directing Tick, Tick...Boom!

When Something...Clicks!
by Estelle Rosen
Jon Corkal was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and although a relatively late-joiner to the theatre world, he immediately fell in love with it. Tick, Tick…Boom! may be his first venture in creative direction, but he has been involved in numerous productions (in varying roles) in the past few years.  Some of his performance credits include West Side Story, Company, Sweeney Todd, and Anything Goes, as well as musical direction for The Certainly Not Sullivan Cabaret and Party Worth Crashing: A Concert (Asst. MD).  He has done both creative and musical direction for Tuesday Night Café’s (TNC)  upcoming production of Tick, Tick…Boom!, premiering October 16, 2013  at TNC Theatre.
CHARPO: There are several issues and reasons that would make Tick, Tick…BOOM an interesting consideration to open Tuesday Night Café (TNC) 2013-2014 season, not the least of which that it was written by Jonathan Larson. Tell us why this play was selected for TNC? 

CORKAL: Oddly enough, it wasn’t until quite recently that I was even first introduced to Tick, Tick…Boom!  I remember when I was told that it was written by Jonathan Larson, I thought I knew exactly what to expect: a show with a lot of energy that was likely too corny for its own good (I mean, what better product of the 90s was there than over-the-top cheesiness?). But in reading the script and listening to the score, I found something that just…clicked.  And it was more than just sharing the same name.

For me, what really stood out was its sincerity and honesty.  I find that oftentimes, musical theatre focuses so much on spectacles and grandiose performances that it’s easy to lose the heart that lies underneath.  It was one of those wonderful moments where I felt as though the writer was talking with me, and not at me.
The themes within Tick, Tick…Boom! are so universal that they can connect to anyone – especially those who desire to follow a life in the arts.  Doubt, uncertainty, and the endless pursuit of dreams fill the show with an atmosphere that makes it endlessly relatable.  But within the backdrop of these themes, the show tells us a story that is wonderfully human; no matter how much of us is filled with doubt or desire, it’s the relationships, with art and those around us, that really matter and make life so fascinating.
In my direction of the show, I wanted to take a minimalistic approach that would emphasize the relationships not only between the characters, but also to the music.  As someone with a heavy background in, and love for, music, I hoped to create a show that would bring the audience to a new space and appreciation not just to the themes within the show, but to those within their own lives. Tick, Tick…Boom! will hopefully make for a great start to TNC’s 2013-14 season, and I can’t wait to see the audience reactions!

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