The following is an interview with Jacob Smith, director of the currently running production of Three Can Keep a Secret (written by Gregory Crafts) at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Smith about what attracted him to the project, what he hopes that audiences will take away from the show, the creative process of the cast and crew, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: The play, Three Can Keep a Secret, is currently appearing as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise?
Jacob Smith: Three Can Keep a Secret is an exciting, interactive murder mystery in which the audience gets to make several important choices in the direction of the play.
BD: As the director, what attracted you to the project?
JS: I was attracted to this project for several reasons, but primarily it was for the high-stakes action that frames the comedy. I found the script to be very funny, but then you’d look directly before and after jokes, and you’d see these scenes of severe violence and high drama. I like how serious this funny world is. Also, the challenge of the different choices: finding ways to make each of the possible story threads work was a challenge that really appealed to me.
BD: You have a fantastic cast and crew involved with the project! What can you share with us about the creative process of working with the team and bringing the show to life?
JS: This cast/crew has been great! With limited rehearsal time, and a lot of variable to consider, I asked a lot of this cast, and they all stepped up admirably. I always enter a process with very clear pictures in my mind of what I think the show should look like; however, I love it when actors bring their own viewpoints and opinions to the table. I don’t always need to be steadfast with my own ideas, I just want to make the show it’s best and honor the playwright. We had a lot of cast and crew members who wore multiple hats around the production, and everyone brought their best work. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way this experience has gone.
BD: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
JS: With this play we mostly are hoping for a few laughs, and that the audience enjoys their time with us. There is a lot of theatre out there that can make you feel bad, or think about the big issues of the day. We are not doing that. This is just an exciting hour of funny scenarios that we hope people enjoy!
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for Three Can Keep a Secret?
JS: Hollywood Fringe is perfect for this show, because it’s a knockout with pace and energy. It’s definitely not your usual “sit in the dark and watch people act” sort of show. We ask the audience to play along with us and take part in the most important parts of the show.
BD: The show will be appearing at the Studio/Stage through June 24, 2017. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
JS: We are hoping for an extension beyond the festival, and I know Mr. Crafts has been toying with the idea of expanding the show into a full-length production, but beyond that we will just certainly be bringing all we’ve got to these last performances!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects that you would care to share with our readers?
JS: I’ll be directing the very scary ghost play, The Woman in Black, this fall for Theatre Unleashed. I also just wrapped a short film with Three Can Keep a Secret star Jim Martyka, which is called Shelter and was produced by Angry Kid, concept artist Jerad Marantz, and TU member Courtney Bell. Finally, I have two projects I’m writing currently: a sexy comedy for the stage titled Au Pair, and a very bloody, dark comedy pilot called Motel Iowa.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for Three Can Keep a Secret?
JS: I’d say hurry up! We don’t have a whole tone of tickets left, and they’re going fast. They can also check the Theatre Unleashed or Hollywood Fringe Festival websites for more information and tickets!