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Listen: Broadway Associate Director David Ruttura Talks SPIDER-MAN, FOOTLOOSE & More On WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast

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Ruttura has been a part of nine directing teams on Broadway and three national touring productions.

Listen: Broadway Associate Director David Ruttura Talks SPIDER-MAN, FOOTLOOSE & More On WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast

Director David Ruttura (Beautiful, School of Rock) reunites with host Patrick Oliver Jones as they discuss his Broadway career assisting Tony-Award winning directors as well as the production that brought them together - FOOTLOOSE on Norwegian Cruise Line.

Being a part of nine directing teams on Broadway and three national touring productions, Ruttura has a guess for why he hasn't been lead director, "It just isn't my time yet." His roles have ranged from assistant and associate to resident director, each with their own nuance of responsibility and authority. But even then he sometimes feels inadequate or out of place giving notes to Tony-Award winners twice his age. However, he thinks "it was more of a hangup for me than it was for them."

Getting his start at Long Island's Gateway Playhouse, David learned the ropes of design and technical work as well as directing and earned a sense of confidence at a young age. So much so that at the age of 19 he wrote Hal Prince and stated to the famed director: "You want me to work for you." This self-assuredness has led to some surprising results and experiences.

One of the most surprising was his time as Resident Director of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. After all the turmoil of its first year with injuries, cost overruns, and replacing the creative team, Ruttura joined the company to maintain a show that was finally on some sturdier ground. Still, the lessons learned from those staging mishaps and financial concerns, gave him a narrow box within which to direct and steer the cast creatively.

Working with Norwegian, however, had no such restrictions. He and the original creative team were given free rein as they came up with a new 90-minute version of FOOTLOOSE, adding and taking away songs and scenes from the 1998 Broadway production. It was in the second casting of this show that Ruttura hired Jones to play the role of Rev. Shaw Moore. And they discuss the role of director as a sort of therapist and psychologist in working with actors to bring out each individual strength and character development.

Ruttura says that directing as much as acting is a vulnerable exercise in creativity, with failure coming just as often and as deeply personal. But in both cases the point is to push past that fear. "Everybody feels like they're failures at some point in the process, and the important thing is to come out the other side."

Listen to the episode below!

Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly theater podcast hosted by actor Patrick Oliver Jones and features conversations with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in the arts. Past guests include Mykal Kilgore (Motown, Jesus Christ Superstar), Caroline Bowman (Wicked), and Lauren Kennedy (Side Show, Spamalot). Find these episodes and more at whyillnevermakeit.com.


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