Director Cricket Hall talks about ‘The Oldest Profession’

Cricket Hall

Cricket Hall, is excited to be directing again for the ACT 2 Theatre Company. She is a graduate of Fairmont State University’s Communication and Theatre Arts program where she appeared in The Good Woman of Szechwan, The Grouch, and Forced Out (Part of “Poof Plus!” an evening of one acts). She also directed The Vagina Monologues two years while she was a student and produced it the other two. (Proceeds from those performances always go to local women’s shelters and anti-violence programs).

With ACT 2, she costume designed What the Bellhop Saw, directed in Set Me Free! (and even appeared on stage as Margaret in Overtones), and was most recently Margie Frump Amos in last fall’s production of Stone Touchin’. Cricket’s is also a playwright; ACT 2 sponsored an open public reading of her play One in Four at Waldomore in December of 2014.

She is currently a second year student at Chicago Theological Seminary where she is pursuing her Masters of Divinity. She is also a mother of three children, ages 12, 10, and 8, whom she homeschools with help from her husband John.

We asked her to talk about the process of directing this show, and here’s what she had to say…

“This whole show began sitting around a table at the cast party for last fall’s show Stone Touchin’. We were relaxing and throwing around ideas for the next season. Someone mentioned the Golden Girls play/review show, which got us talking about shows for older women. Someone said, “Hey isn’t there a show about old hookers?” and Lydia said “Yes, it’s called The Oldest Profession by Paula Vogel.” With that the die was cast.

I was interested in the show for a number of reasons. The age thing really hits home for me. I’m only 35 but it’s hard for me to find roles, especially one’s that are not someone’s mother. Famous actresses my age are already being turned away for roles because they are too old, even though men who are much older continue to be cast in similar roles. In a world where people are living longer, we need to start celebrating age. I cannot change Hollywood or society’s mind, but through this show I am going to show North Central West Virginia that age does not matter.

Another thing that intrigues me about the show was its subject matter. Yes, it’s true I enjoy pushing the envelope, but this show isn’t just about that. In our culture we are constantly covering up women’s bodies and ignoring sex in general, and especially sex workers. The characters in the show have a lot of pride in their trade; they are sexy and professionals. These women deserve respect. I wanted to show that women can be beautiful, sexy, and interested in sex no matter who they are or how old they are.

Directing this show has been an amazing experience. I have only ever really directed people who were my age or younger. This was the first time that I worked with actors who are my senior and have more experience than I do. I was intimidated. However, I have learned so much from them, both about theatre and about life. These women are all powerhouses and superheroes. I’m so grateful that they have shared their time and work with me.“

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