I am so happy that Troy Heard is doing well.
I've known him for half his life, when he was an obnoxious little theater baby going to school at Pacelli High School.
Thank goodness he's grown up to be a wonderful young man. He keeps reminding me that he's closer to 40 than that obnoxious kid.
I prefer to be in denial.
Anyway, he recently posted on my Facebook page that the Desert Companion newspaper just gave him the Best Director award.
David McKee of the paper wrote, “When the play 'Hellcab' pulled into Las Vegas Little Theatre at the end of 2010, few suspected that its near-perfect staging marked the beginning of an exceptional run by director Troy Heard. This year, he demonstrated a temperament that encompassed postmodern drollery ('Thom Pain'), high camp ('Theodora, She-Bitch of Byzantium'), black farce ('That Atrocious Tradition' presented as part of the first-ever 'Fearophilia' festival) and capped these achievements with a blood-curdling, immersive staging of Jennifer Haley’s cyber-horror drama, 'Neighborhood III: Requisition of Doom.' In his spare time, he crafted a 'found footage' shocker out of Christopher Durang’s 'The Book of Leviticus Show.' Except for a too-many-cooks 'Tommy' at Green Valley Ranch, Heard’s productions are marked by fine detail, intense unanimity of purpose and an ability to get the best his actors have in them. Next up: a stage adaptation of 'The Corpse Grinders' and LVLT’s summer tuner, 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical.' Heard keeps proclaiming he’s on the verge of 'retirement,' but don’t believe him for a minute.”
Troy directed "Hellcab" here in Columbus almost 20 years ago. I saw it one night when Springer Opera House artistic director Paul Pierce was in the audience. Afterward, I was in awe of the production and Paul told me that was the best play he'd seen in Columbus that year. And he's in charge of a theater himself.
Troy was maybe 20 at the time. He worked with actors who were almost twice his age and some young novices, too.
He was working in a space that was not a real theater. It was a space used by a dance school. Troy tacked up plastic on the ceiling to hide the lights, and had to keep audience members from smoking. Yes, those little idiots were smoking in a dance studio with wooden floors!
Troy works really hard to get things right.
Unfortunately, his theater companies here in Columbus, the Neat Theater and Chattahoochee Shakespeare Co., just couldn't work. I'm sure he had another company in between those two, but I can't remember what they were called.
When he was a senior at Pacelli, he directed a dinner theater show that had a pig in the background.
He knew I loved pigs, so he made the kids in the cast sign it.
After he graduated from the Savannah School of Art and Design with a master's in directing, he stopped by my office and was shocked to see the pig still at my desk.
He also used another pig, a stuffed animal of a mother sow with little piglets suckling, and gave that to me. It's on my desk at home. I cannot remember what that show that is from.
As far as I know, he's still working at Cirque du Soleil's "KA" in Las Vegas.
And he keeps saying I need to visit.
One day, I'll surprise him.
In the meantime, congratulations, Troy and keep up the good work!