Jack in the Box
or, How to Goddamn Direct
by Jack O'Brien
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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2022
The Tony Award–winning director gathers memories of people, productions, and problems surmounted from his fifty-year career in this one-of-a-kind how-to handbook.
What do directors do? Jack O’Brien, the winner of Tony and Drama Desk Awards and the former artistic director of San Diego’s historic Old Globe theatre, describes it like this: “You stand before a situation in which something is presented to you. You’re afforded a challenge. Like catching an enormous ball. And you respond. You come up with a vision of some kind. That is, if you respond to the material at all, and one must, or it’s doomed. You sort of feel that since you relate to the material at hand, you might as well try to be helpful.”
In Jack in the Box, O’Brien’s follow-up to his memoir Jack Be Nimble, the director collects stories from the many productions he has worked on, the great talents he encountered and collaborated with (including Tom Stoppard, Mike Nichols, Jerry Lewis, Marsha Mason, and many others), and the choices he made, on the stage and off, that have come to define his career. With humor, warmth, and contagious excitement, O’Brien takes the reader by the shoulder, pulls them in, and tells them how to become a director—or, at the very least, relates an unfailingly honest story of how he did.