Barbara Surloff has been directing for about 37-38 years. She majored in Speech Theater and English in college. Her first job was at Glenview High School, an inner city school in Cleveland, Ohio. From there, she came down to visit a friend in Phoenix and the rest is history…
What’s your favorite thing about directing?
I like to put things together and to me, directing a show is a puzzle. Directing is trying to balance all those puzzles pieces until it finally comes together. The final piece of that puzzle is the audience.
Theater is what I taught in school and I really enjoyed it. It’s not any easier to teach than any other subject, but every year was a new year, even when we taught the same curriculum because it was a new crop of kids. When I retired, I started directing for a couple of community theaters in the Valley.
To sum it up, directing is my joy.
Could you talk to us about Neil Simon’s Rumors?
Neil Simon is just…good. He always knows how to make an audience laugh and most of it was based around his life. In fact, Brighton Beach, Lost in Yonkers and Biloxi Blues were all about his growing up and his adult life in New York City.
I actually got to meet Neil Simon. He lives in Phoenix now and it was interesting to hear him talk about his life. I never knew he had a writing partner that was part of all the different things that he did.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Wherever you are, come and check out your local community theater. There are a lot of decent ones in the Valley. When I first came here, there was only one theater that was here. Now there are all these theaters that have come up! There are adult theaters, kid theaters and a combination, which is what Starlight is.
I think all our readers would enjoy Rumors. Before the house is all sold out, and I’m not joking, they should come and see it and check us out.