In conversation with

Artistic Director PATRICK  KLEIN

Artistic Director PATRICK  KLEIN

    By Iride Aparicio

Photos courtesy: Palo Alto Players

PALO ALTO, CAWith five plays and musicals that celebrate the mythology of humanity and each of these stories a myth on its own right, PALO ALTO PLAYERS gets us ready for  a new season of unbelievable fantasies, heart wrenching family dramas, comedies, and circus acts all forged in the blaze of love.

The extraordinary Season of five shows: “BIG FISH,” “HARVEY,” “EURIDYCE” “THE ADAMS Family,” and “CHINGLISH.” was described in detail by Artistic Director, PATRICK KLINE to the readers of CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL in the following interview:  

“BIG FISH” Directed by KLEIN

“BIG FISH” Directed by KLEIN

C.W.B.  Since you are the one who selects the shows for PAP, what  attracted you to “BIG FISH” the musical?

P.K. “It was a new title, and the movie was very influential to my artistic development. The movie came out when I was in college and I got very interested in the topic and the cinematic style of it. Then I read that the musical version was coming to Broadway. I did not get to see it when I was on Broadway on December 2013, but because I happened to work for the Licensing House who owns the tile and I happened to know that “BIG FISH” was one of their upcoming titles, I contacted their representative a few days before that it closed on Broadway and asked them if it was going to be available on a National Tour. They asked me to send them my information. (After receiving it) they sent me the script. I had “clips” of the  music from U-tube but not all the music yet, but I loved the script so much that I got the show for our company.”

C.W.B. Are you designing the sets for “BIG FISH?”Big Fish Poster

P.K: “Yes. I am the set designer for the show and that presented a new set of challenges for us because we are, basically, the first company west of the Rockies to produce this show.  The Broadway’s production had a Chicago tryout before it went to Broadway and there are a couple of productions opening around the time we are opening (September 13) but there was not a lot of source material out there, just some photos that I have seen of the Broadway’s production and a couple of clips from the Chicago’s production, so “my design” is a combination of both. The original Broadway production did not have enough of the Tim Burton’s feel to it, but I took a little bit of the “rustic” from the Broadway production. Since the play takes place in Alabama, over seven times periods, I am giving it  a “rustic” feel. To start my design process for the show with a “clean slate” has been exciting.”

C.W.B.  What can you tell those who are not familiar with  “BIG FISH” that is important in this show?

P.K.  Many people are not familiar with the show. “BIG FISH” is such a new piece that people in the audience may have heard the title, but they do not know much about it. The cast recording came out after we auditioned the show, so even those auditioning, had not heard the music yet. “

“The play, with book by JOHN AUGUST, is based on the DANIEL WALLACE l998 novel and it takes a lot of the fantastic elements of the 2003 movie. “BIG FISH”  is the story of an Alabama gentleman, Edward Bloom, who tells “tall” tales to his son about his wife and his son is very skeptical about what is “real” and what is fantasy. In his “tall” tales the gentleman tells stories about meeting witches and mermaids in his journeys in life, and in this production we will bring the visualization of the gentleman’s stories to the stage. But, when we get down to it, the show, that has a tremendous heart, is really  a story about family and how this old gentleman is trying to connect with his son.”

“The music, (written by ANDREW LIPPA who also wrote the lyrics)  is extremely joyful.  It has a “country” feel at times, but it is a real theatrical musical piece. And the work is a very moving story. Even during rehearsals, people (the actors) were in shambles and tears at the end…but in the good way.” He adds smiling.

Talking about PAP new  season the Director says:

P.K: “ All the shows in our new Season are exciting for different reasons. HARVEY, which has a recent revival on Broadway,  is an older piece that has a lot of relevance to our audience. EURYDICE has a connection to the ancient Greek Myth and has very poetic language, but the story has been twisted and turned on its head. Another show that has a huge heart is the ADDAMS FAMILY  that not many people have seen but are very familiar with the title. And we close our season with CHINGLISH which is going to be the most challenging  because it requires actors to speak Chinese and English. The story is very modern. People can’t relate with it and it is an amazing and hilarious script.” 

KLINE adds that he would like to invite the readers of CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL to go and see their shows “We are presenting really dynamic and exciting pieces of theatre that we guarantee that will make you walk out refreshed and new” he says.

Artistic Director of PAP,  Patrick Kline was born in San José, California and grew up in Santa Cruz. He holds a degree in theatre and scenic design.  He started his career as an actor, but because he enjoys working “behind the scenes” more, upon his return from New York, where he lived for seven years, he began  Directing and doing design work in California where he has designed and build the scenery for almost every PAP production since 2009.  “One of the things I love about Palo Alto Players” he says, “is that all our designers and actors are from this area. I have been able to find amazing talent in this area.”

Patrick describes himself as “Somebody who has passion for the arts, passion for good theatre, and enjoys to get the community involved.”

To order Season tickets and SAVE call  650-329-0891

Highlights of BIG FISH may be seen at: