By Ali Pechman
It was happening, then it was cancelled, then it was on again.Â After a shaky start, the HWS Rembiko project had another chair pulled out from under it this summer in the middle of the rehearsal period. Well, two chairs.
Two directors helming three shows for the HWS Rembiko Project this summer unexpectedly left the program due to artistic differences, according to director and upper school English teacher Adam Howard.Â Daniel Faltus, musical director of former music teacher Paul Luddenâs opera âThe Trojan Womenâ and of the âConcerto Concert,â left after two days of rehearsal.Â Ludden, who had just finished his last year of teaching at the Upper School, was brought in to replace him.
Eve Zappulla, director of a rock-musical adaptation of âOthellaâ titled âBennie Othella and the Jetsâ¦â and publicist for the program, was reassigned a week-and-a-half into the program to solely be responsible for publicity, after which she soon left the program altogether.Â
Faltus, described in press releases for the project as an âL.A. opera stalwart,â has been called in as a musical director for school performances in the past, such as the middle school musical âOklahoma!â in May of 2004.Â Â
Students and faculty attributed the loss of Faltus to differences between him and Artistic Director of the project and English teacher Eric Schrode. After Faltusâ departure, Schrode spoke to the cast of âThe Trojan Women.â
âHe said this was the straw that broke the camelâs back and that there were other disagreements,â cast member Julian Hicks â08 said.
Zappulla was recommended to the program by Howard.Â As well as directing âBennie Othella,â she designed posters and flyers to be distributed once in Edinburgh.Â Those involved with the show said the show was not coming together fast enough.
âThings were moving slowly.Â [Zappulla] was a good director but in the time we had allotted we needed to get through things faster than we were,â said Taylor Lasley â08, who played Bennie Othella.
Schrode, co-director of âBennie Othellaâ took over direction for the show, which he had created, during week two of rehearsal. Adam Gold â07 was called in by Schrode to take over graphic design.Â
Emily Nelson, a friend of Kristi Schultz who choreographed âBennie Othella,â was brought on the trip in Zappullaâs place to chaperone her flat in Edinburgh.
âI think they were both [Faltus and Zappulla] unprepared for the speed at which the program is operated,â Howard said.Â âIf one is not ready to hit the ground running and canât make adjustments, itâs tough to function within the Edinburgh Project.Â We move swiftly and that pace doesnât always work for everyone.â
âI admire both of them and wish them the best,â Schrode said of Zappulla and Faltus. âThe postcards that Eve designed were our best ever, and Faltus is a man whose myriad accomplishments speak for themselves.â