OSF’s ‘Great Expectations’ director shares story behind the story

Penny Metropolus

Penny Metropulos directed and co-adapted (with Linda Alper) “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, now playing at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other OSF adaptations to her credit are: “The Three Musketeers,” “Tracy’s Tiger” and a musical version of “Comedy of Errors.” Metropulos originally came to OSF as an actor and singer in 1985. After three seasons, she turned to directing.

EH: Did directing come naturally to you?

PM: I went to a training program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. It was about collaboration. It wasn’t the “dog-eat-dog” kind of thing. I came back with this holy grail of “company,” and that never left me. The idea of being in a theater company has always been with me. And I have been lucky enough to do that.

Because of my background as an actress, I had done a lot of classical, contemporary and musical work. Right away, I was doing all different kinds of things. I guess it was right because the work kept coming. I took every job because I needed to learn how to do this. It was great. I knew it was right.

I started singing so early in my life, that singing was always second nature to me. That’s what directing felt like. It was like breathing, like singing. It was the right thing for me. At the end of my acting career, I realized that I never wanted to leave the rehearsal hall — the process was what was interesting. Continue reading OSF’s ‘Great Expectations’ director shares story behind the story