July 20, 2024

Corey Ewan: director, teacher,

This archived article was written by: By Zak Konakis

Theatre professor Corey Ewan Ph.D. has had a more adventurous summer than you had; hands down. Your summer at the Warped Tour or on the family vacation pales in comparison to the shear adrenaline rush that Ewan has experienced. Ewan has been embroiled in and even directed elaborate murder plots, saved the BBC and reputation of an aspiring Western-Country group, all while trying to help an actor keep his head long enough to finish a play. While he may never admit to being an accessory to murder or ever take the credit for saving shows or careers, he will tell you all about the summer he spent at the Old Lyric Theatre in Logan Utah.
Ewan spent his summer with equity actors and graduate students from Rutgers University in New Jersey. While Don Imus has been muted by the world, Rutgers students have been free to take the direction of Ewan without fear. They managed to follow his lead well enough to receive the praise of the Deseret News and Logan Herald, reinforcing that even junior colleges deserve great instructors.
Ewan’s style of directing goes farther than just setting out a pre-blocked regiment, but rather gives the actor’s license to explore their characters. “I have ideas and pictures [of what] I want to see in my head, but anything in the between is free range.” The outcome being a more natural feel for the actor, guiding them to go farther than they would have ever imagined.
Deathtrap, one of the plays Ewan did this summer, is a show Ewan is familiar with, as he saw it done at CEU three years ago, “[Deathtrap] was a play that I had wanted to do for quite some time, and I was a little jealous when Todd Olsen ended up choosing to do it.” Though taking some of the same props from Olsen’s production, the cues were different in the end. “I do things for myself in plays, it gives me a chance to be a little selfish. I used a more cinematic element by turning off all the lights and using lightning flashes to show action and let the audience fill in the blanks. The end result turned out really well.”
Chaps, a musical Ewan worked with this summer, has the actors changing costumes and characters many times before the finale. One costume change Corey was fortunate enough to have was as showgirl for a gag within the play, but with all of the costume changes, there is room for error. “I didn’t notice that a couple of buttons had come undone and as I was walking down the stairs, I had started losing pieces of the dress. By the end of the show I was down to the bloomers,” explains Ewan.
Though you may have been caught in a pit that some mothers may mistake for a street fight at a concert, or maybe your creepy uncle was hanging around the house half-naked while you were visiting, but Ewan has been there and even topped the summer that you had.