Wanda Woodbeck is the director of the Pinawa Players’ upcoming production Bedside Manners, taking place Nov. 21-24. Written by Derek Benfield, the farce follows a man named Ferris, who reluctantly agrees to look after his sister’s seedy country inn while she’s on vacation. But Ferris did not anticipate all the wild comings-and-goings involving her affairs! Over the course of his house-sitting, Ferris becomes engulfed in lies, confusions, and bewilderments as he tries to prevent the inevitable meetings of husbands, wives, and lovers in assorted compromising situations.
How long have you been involved with the Players and how?
I have been involved with the players almost 20 years. I have acted in If we are Women, Jack and the Beanstalk, Waiting for the Parade, I Take This Man, Mr. Flannery’s Ocean, Done to Death, Here on the Flight Path, On a Golden Pond, Blue Murder, and The Dixie Swim Club. Total of ten plays. I have directed Tell Me a Story, Sing me a Song, She with a Capital S, Rituals, Leading Ladies, Moon Over Buffalo, Sin, Sex and the CIA, Lafferty’s Wake, Lend me a Tenor and Calendar Girls. Total of nine plays directed so far and Bedside Manners will be 10! Besides the plays I have acted or directed I have worked backstage on props, costumes etc. and have been a producer for a couple.
Why did you pick this one?
I chose Bedside Manners because I enjoy a good farce and know the audience does as well. I also enjoy a certain type of challenge each time I direct and the physical comedy in this one is a challenge! I feel the best way to get the most out of my actors is not just by doing one thing but a few different things to get a really good outcome — offer positive feedback and encouragement, have a clear vision, make it fun, have a supportive backstage crew and be willing to do what it takes to make everyone feel confident before they go on stage.
What’s funniest about it for you?
I have to say what makes me laugh most about this play is the ridiculous situations people put themselves in so they don’t get caught doing something they they shouldn’t! This is a very pace-driven play and although the situation goes a bit over the top, the characters are relatable and all have their moments to shine.
What character do you relate most to?
The character I can relate most too is the person taking care of the inn. He is always trying to keep everyone happy and has a really tough balancing act to try and accomplish that. It’s a bit like directing a play!
Your husband Daryl plays one of the roles. What’s the best, and also worst part, about directing your spouse?
The best part about directing my husband is we get to spend time together doing something we both love. The worst part is we don’t always see eye-to-eye on directing styles or some of the characters. That can create some lengthy discussion! But overall we often come out with a compromise that is hopefully better for the overall production. Most of all, we feel very privileged that we both have the same passion and we are fortunate enough to be able to do it together.