Catfish Moon, opens on Friday in the Spokane Civic Studio Theatre. Catfish Moon is Chris Wooley’s directorial debut and Spokane Civic Theatre is very much looking forward the show. Chris has been around Spokane Civic Theatre for years learning and running sound for nearly all of our major productions. Seems like the perfect time for a sit down so the rest of Spokane can learn about Chris and Catfish Moon.
Spokane Civic Theatre: Tell us about yourself and your theatre involvement.
Chris Wooley: I’m a theatre guy that grew up in a small town. I’ve worked just about every part that is needed to put together a production, from Stage Manager to sound. I’ve worked with several theatres across eastern Washington. I’m the official sound engineer at the Spokane Civic Theatre, and have stage managed several shows at the Civic, too.
Spokane Civic Theatre: What made you decide to take on the directorial roll?
Chris Wooley: The creative process that goes into a show is a mixture of imagination, magic, and hard work. I love solving problems and unrolling words on a page into a story or picture. The directorial role allows me the opportunity to project my ideas into the creative process.
Spokane Civic Theatre: What’s it like being a first time director? Biggest challenges? Biggest surprises?
Chris Wooley: I’m loving every minute of it. The process has been a lot of hard work, but very worth it. I have a background in theatre, so I’m familiar with the process, concepts, and terminology of the theatre world. However, it can be a bit overwhelming at times working with limitations, budgets, time, and schedules. The connections I’ve made with my cast and crew are amazing. My cast is a mixture of experienced veterans, returning actors, people I’ve never met, and people I’ve done shows with before. With a show this intimate, I feel very lucky to have such a great and talented cast.
Spokane Civic Theatre: Why did you choose to take on Catfish Moon?
Chris Wooley: When the Spokane Civic Theatre offered me Catfish Moon, I was very excited to take it on as my directorial debut. It is an intimate show with a cast of only 4 people. It is set in the thrust stage studio space, and it involves fishing, beer, and friendship. I grew up in a small town and could easily relate to the characters and setting. I couldn’t stop laughing at the script. It seemed like a great choice for me.
Spokane Civic Theatre: What the heck is Catfish Moon?
Chris Wooley: Catfish Moon is a funny play written by Laddy Sartin. It’s got funny situational comedy and a few great physical moments. It’s the story of three old high school buddies reuniting over a fishing trip. Throw in a girl, a few feuds, and a bunch of beer and you’ve got a great show. An actual Catfish Moon is just a really big, bright moon -great to go fishing by. If you’re lucky enough to fish under one, you’re going to be catching big ‘ole goodin’.
Spokane Civic Theatre: Why should I go see Catfish Moon?
Chris Wooley: This is a fast paced comedy with a few heart wrenching moments thrown in. You’ll find yourself in a mixture of pee your pants funny moments and then immediately feeling for the characters. It’s the type of show you’d go see if you don’t really like big theatre shows or just want an excuse to sip a beer while watching a comedy.