DADDY LONG LEGS: THE MUSICAL

Production photos by Regan Wong, Featuring John Shartzer and Melissa Dunham

Daddy Long Legs: The Musical

 

Book by John Caird

Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon

Directed by Anna Miles

Produced by Melissa Dunham

The idea of a directorial "concept" gets a lot of bad press; stick to the text, we like to cry. Keep it simple. Concepts muddy up the story. And sometimes all that is true. But sometimes, bringing a transformative new concept to a text can elevate it and turn it into something entirely new, something entirely special. When I directed Daddy Long Legs, a story about a pair of smitten Turn Of The Century pen pals, instead of creating a realism-tinged minimalist set with some books and a desk, I made the entire space appear to be constructed out of book pages and letters. Over the course of the play, both characters added each new letter they received to the already copious collection covering the walls, and every prop exchanged between the characters, from tea cups to boxes of chocolate, was made from paper. Jerusha and Jervis' relationship was built on their mutual love of literature, Jerusha's authorial aspirations, and of course, their prolonged and intimate letter correspondence- their relationship was built on a foundation of paper, and so, then, was their shared space. The script may not have called for paper birds and torn up book pages, but the story did.