Lighthouse Festival’s Artistic Director, Derek Ritschel, is back on stage! After directing the hit musical community show, Clue, he’s taking on the role of Rubber in the world premiere of Norm Foster’s A Pack of Thieves. Derek has been in a number of Lighthouse productions, including Heatwave, The Drawer Boy, Mary’s Wedding, Bedtime Stories, Mending Fences, A Christmas Carol, Stranger In Our House, Between Friends, Outlaw, and The Foursome. We sat down with him to chat about who is most and least like their character on stage, what he does just before going on stage and what will surprise people about this comedic tour de force!
Lighthouse Festival (LF): What will people be talking about in the car on the way home after seeing this show?
Derek Ritschel (DR): I hope they are talking about how much they laughed and enjoyed their evening with us. A Pack Of Thieves is unapologetically a comedy so it’s our hope people just relax and enjoy a good laugh.
(LF): Who is most like their character in this play? Who is the least like their character?
(DR): I would have to say Jeff is closest to his character, he’s a thinker, a planner … as is his character, Chef. And I would say Allan is the least like his character. The character Dale isn’t the smartest wolf in our pack but in real life … Allan is a very clever artist.
(LF): What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
(DR): One deep breath and a sly wink to my acting partner. It’s time to dance.
(LF): What’s going to surprise people about this show?
(DR): Nothing. It’s written by Norm Foster. Laughter is about to happen, and everyone knows it. Let the games begin.
(LF): Besides this one, what’s your favorite stage show?
(DR): Tough question for an Artistic Director to answer. I’ve been involved in over 80 shows here. Each and every one has a place in my heart. So, I’ll answer by saying this … I love all my children equally. Long live Lighthouse.