An interview with the director
of ruthless! - Scott keys

By Amanda Heisey, Marketing Director 
 The Sarasota Players is back with an exciting mainstage season at The Crossings at Siesta Key venue. Ruthless! kicks us off with a hilarious, irreverent musical for theatre-lovers and horror movie buffs alike. It’s perfect for those getting into the Fall spirit, and those that just love the theatre. Learn more about this off-Broadway gem from director Scott Keys and don’t forget to reserve your seat. The show is to die for. 

Amanda: Give me an elevator pitch of the show. 

Scott Keys: A hilarious musical parody of iconic films and musicals like, The Bad Seed, All About Eve, and Gypsy. RUTHLESS is a cautionary tale about talent, ambition and the scariest beasts that ever darkened  a theatre…Stage Mothers!!!

A: In your mind, why is it important? Why are we telling this story right now?

S: TV and the news and the ubiquitous social media are riddled with stories and shows about talent and those who have IT and those who don’t. We are a culture of “ you can be and have whatever you want”…but that can be  destructive and even fatal. The insatiable need for FAME is corrupting our society, corrupting our children It is  about Parents and children  and the sometimes inexcusable pressure parents put on their children…driving them to desperate measures.

A: What’s your concept for the show?

S: The musical is a parody, almost a fable about theatrical ambition and  fame. It doesn’t need a concept. The concept is indelibly laid out by the writers and composer, Joel Paley and Marvin Laird. It’s a cartoon, it’s a soap opera, it’s a melodrama, It  is Greek tragedy and Shakespearean. It is ruthlessly theatrical.

A: What has been your favorite part of working on this production? 

S: First off a sensational cast, wonderful musical director, Carl Haan, and a great creative team. But more0ver, discovering the reality and profundity beneath all the hilarious, biting satire and getting at the heart of the show and the characters.

A: Most challenging part? 

S: The characters are all sort of despicable for various reasons. They are selfish, flawed, insane, and over the top. The hard part is trying not to be funny, the script is already funny and not pushing for laughs, but grounding the characters motivations in reality. There are humans underneath these musical comedy villains  who just want to be noticed for their talent

A: Why is live theatre so important?

S: It’s the communion, the gathering, the coming together of people and having a shared experience. Not everyone will have the same experience or reactions,  but  it is communal.

A: Tell the community why they should come see the show. 

S: It’s funny. It will make you laugh. It will help you see the extremes of human nature. It pushes boundaries.

A: Tell the community why they should get involved with The Players.

S. The Players is a hallmark of our community. It has been around going on a century ( 94 years). It has produced a wide range of theatre, and theatre is good for the soul. The Players needs to endure  for local artists and performers as well as for the audiences it brings together.

A: Give me three words that describe The Players. 

Collective, collaborative, community

A: Anything else you’d like to add about the show? 

S: On one level, RUTHLESS! Is a dark show. On the other hand, it is a tuneful, toe tapping musical comedy. Those extremes are what make us think and make our hearts beat simultaneously.