“I haven’t in a long time so it’s a pleasure for me to be getting back into it,” says Paul Issa, referring to his status as a theatre director. It’s almost 7pm on a Tuesday night and Issa is on the rehearsal set of his latest play, Mr. & Mrs. Blacke, a buzzworthy marital drama (with Keisha Patterson and writer-actor Keiran King) opening in July at Philip Sherlock.
“I’m very glad that they asked me to direct it,” he tells TALLAWAH. “Keiran I just got to know recently when they were doing Last Call. And I was quite impressed by many aspects of that production, and he told me he’d written this play, and he sent it to me and asked me if I’d direct it, and I said yes.”
Describing it as a “very well-written and “unusual” work, Issa (who previously helmed the University Players’ Tartuffe) say he welcomes this latest career challenge. “The last play I directed had a big cast, and I was also in it and producing it as well. But this time I am just focusing on the direction and the [two] performances and trying to present truthful acting on the stage,” he says, adding that audiences are guaranteed an evening well spent. “It has a few surprising moments in it. It’s a serious play, but I think it’s entertaining. Audiences will be engrossed and entertained at the same time.”
Elsewhere, Issa continues to flex his cultural muscles with a recurring role as Royal Palm Estate’s put-upon attorney-at-law Aaron Levy – and as Chairman of the Edna Manley College board. “We have a lot of issues to deal with, but it’s a great college with a lot of talent,” he admits. “I just want to see it become a stronger institution.”
Meantime, when it comes to picking future stage projects, Issa abides by a simple rule. “I never know what I’m going to do next. I just wait for the right thing to come along.”