EMAV Director's Dish: Noah Keeling and 'The House of Yes'

A show is a company's product, but the innovation process begins long before opening night. Eat More Art Vegas is happy to share the behind the scenes scoop with our "Director's Dish." Enjoy these insights from director Noah Keeling about his recent project with UNLV Second Stage, "The House of Yes," by Wendy MacLeod.

Q: How long have you been directing?

A: I’m a directorial virgin! I’ve been primarily a performer in the past and I thought this time in my life was the time to stretch myself—after all, what is college for if not learning?

Q: Why directing? What about directing caught your interest?

A: I’ve always loved to tell the stories, and with directing you get to have a complete vision of how the story you are telling onstage is told and actually have it come true!

Q: Why The House of Yes? Why did you choose this play?

A: It has an endless wit about it—a director friend of mine told me it was the perfect show for me because “all the characters talk like [I] do”. It’s got everything I love: quips, dark humor, and a gothic element that I adore. Not to mention—the show has some amazing roles for the age range of our students and I’ve loved seeing them take it on.

Rehearsals began about 6 weeks before opening.

Q: What's one idea you want The House of Yes to leave audiences with?

A: I think that the central conceit of the play is an indictment of unmitigated wealth—at one point, the matriarch says that her daughter “can have everything she wants, she always has.” Any psychologist—or any parent—could tell you how dangerous never being told “no” can be to the development of empathy and even basic social skills in children. There’s a reason the play is called The House of Yes.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of this rehearsal process?

A: Watching this amazing cast get the hang of the lightning-fast speed of the dialogue.