Scott Ellis Quotes

  1. I get to choose the people I work with.
  2. My first time ever on the Tony Awards was in 1984, the year of ‘The Rink.’
  3. As an actor, you don’t have control over what you do, whom you work with.
  4. I feel that once you go into rehearsal, you need to focus on the show in the room.
  5. The smartest thing a director can do is surround himself with really good people.
  6. ‘On the Twentieth Century’ was always something I wanted to do because of Kristin Chenoweth.
  7. I always have to come back to shows to take out the improvements actors have put in. Laughs are addictive, and sometimes they’re good laughs, and sometimes they’re bad laughs.
  8. I’m big on research. I love research, so I tend to do a lot of reading.
  9. Any director who comes into a revival owes a great deal to the original director. If I know the backbone works, it gives me, as a director, much more freedom to bring something new to it or try something different.
  10. I don’t consider myself a flashy director. A lot of times, people will look and don’t even know what I do.
  11. After raising twins, you get organized.
  12. The challenge of a revival is how to bring something fresh. The reward is the opportunity to add different flourishes. You’re dealing with different actors, designers and a different time.
  13. A bad laugh is a laugh for the sake of a laugh that’s out of character.
  14. Actors are smart. They have to feel safe enough to fall and to get back up. My job is to make sure they don’t get hurt.
  15. Casting, to me, is always the same. It’s a very important part of a director’s job. I pick people that I sense I’d like to be in a room with and will enjoy the rehearsal process with because that’s the best part.
  16. When you’re working on a play like ‘Sloane,’ that play works; you don’t have to worry about that. When you’re working on a new play like ‘Little Dog,’ you have no clue if the play works. You’re exploring.
  17. ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ has eighteen people onstage at one point. Musicals entail a larger collaboration, and I love that.
  18. ‘Twelve Angry Men’ was done with an intermission, and I took that out. I really wanted an audience to feel like they had no break, just like those jurors, and you’re not going to get out of that room until you come to a decision.
  19. My acting experience has been a benefit. What I learned from directors is how to listen to and talk with actors. I know how they think and what they need.
  20. My directing style has changed over the years. I allow things to breathe a lot more.
  21. The night before ‘The Elephant Man’ opened, we had a sleepover for 12 kids. Being organized is the key.
  22. You can’t live like a monk if you have two five-year-old twins. That ain’t happening. Just the opposite, actually.
  23. Being a twin, and knowing if my twin was gone or lost – that’s a part of me. There’s no way I could be the same person knowing my brother had passed away.
  24. The theatre show-biz types don’t change much, no matter what era we’re in. The question of how you balance being in show business with your personal life isn’t very different.

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