CTC Artistic Director Andrew Borba had a very specific goal in mind when directing the upcoming One Man, Two Guvnors.
“I love to hear people laugh,” he said.
The highly comedic show is the second mainstage production in Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2019 season. The show, which continues its run at 2:15 p.m. today in Bratton Theater, and runs until Aug. 11, follows the journey of a recently unemployed musician as he attempts to work for two employers at once.
To Borba, one of the most rewarding things about producing a comedic piece of theater is hearing audience members kicking back and just having a good time.
Now in his 15th year with CTC, that appreciation for audience enjoyment has been with him from the very beginning.
At the first show he ever produced at Chautauqua — Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare — he remembers a moment that shaped him not just as a director, but as a human.
“I was sitting behind my father, my wife and my two young kids; three generations watching one show,” Borba said. “At some points, only my father would laugh. At others, just my wife. And others, only my kids would laugh. But more often than not, all of them would. There’s nothing more fulfilling than that to me.”
Borba carried that experience with him into his years at Chautauqua, and he said giving audiences the gift of laughter is something he never fails to appreciate. One Man, Two Guvnors, he said, will certainly make people laugh.
Borba said that of all the shows he’s been a part of with CTC, he’s never been more excited to present a show than he is right now.
“I absolutely cannot wait for audiences to see this show,” Borba said. “A great deal of love has gone into this show. I rarely speak in superlatives, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more eager for a show to open.”
Though the production process earned him a few withering looks from the cast and crew, Borba said, he continued to implement a number of different things to push the play further, including stage combat, authentic accent work and precise comedic timing.
“It’s by far the biggest show we’ve ever done,” Borba said. “It’s as if someone said, ‘What are all the things that are hard to do in theater? Let’s just do all of those.’ ”
Despite the scale and challenge posed by the play, Borba said he never had doubts that the company could pull it off, and that he’s proud of the dedication the cast and crew has shown in the process.
“I couldn’t have done this without the help of each of the teams,” Borba said. “The work that each of our departments have done and the energy that people have brought to the process is just above and beyond.”
During the frantic moments and the late nights of production, Borba said his goal remained the same: Giving audiences a great time.
“I would love it for the audiences to enjoy themselves so fully that occasionally, over the next few weeks or months or maybe even years, they have moments where they think back and just say, ‘Oh my gosh, that was funny,’ ” he said.