Caleb Baker on Making His Directorial Debut

By Katie Haught, marketing director for Imagine Productions

Imagine Productions’ next endeavor is Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, April 26 – May 5. We sat down with the director Caleb Baker to learn more about his artistic journey.

Katie: What got you involved in the Columbus theater scene?
Caleb: I got involved with the community theater scene in Columbus around 12 years ago as something to do with my daughters.

Katie: What has it been like working as a first-time director?
Caleb: I’ve wanted to try directing for a few years now. I can’t point to one specific thing that happened; it’s just been an itch that I’ve had. It’s been exciting and, admittedly, a little scary at times. I’m still working on finding my directorial style. It helps coming from an acting background and remembering the different ways I’ve been directed in the past. I have been able to draw on what I liked and disliked about those experiences. I had to overcome a bit of imposter syndrome at the start — it’s hard to ignore that voice in your head telling you that you have no business directing such a talented group of individuals.

To combat that, I made sure to surround myself with experienced people who I trust completely. Jonathan Collura is one of, if not the best, music directors in the city. Having known and worked with him several times over the years, I was ecstatic and humbled that he agreed to do this with me. Emily English is quickly becoming one of the best and most professional stage managers around. She initially turned this job down because she needed a break from being in such high demand but changed her mind once she listened to the show and fell in love with the story.

Katie: What’s your favorite part of the production process?
Caleb: My favorite part of the production process is collaborating with my team and actors. We’ve created our own little family. It’s something I’ve gotten the privilege to experience as an actor, and it’s just as rewarding as a director. Cast/crew inside jokes are the best inside jokes.

Katie: What is something you’re hoping to accomplish in your venture into directing?
Caleb: I’m most excited to work on shows that are not often produced. It can be frustrating as a performer to see the same shows constantly being put on all over the city. I can only imagine that audiences feel a similar burn out of repetition that we do. I want to bring something new to Columbus!

Caleb Baker in Imagine Productions’ “Disaster!”

Katie: What shows would you like to pursue in the future?
Caleb: There are so many shows I’d like to be a part of. I’d love to play Huey in Memphis, Bobby in Company and Dan in Next to Normal. Those are my top dream roles at the moment. I don’t know about a dream show to direct yet – stay tuned!

Katie: What are a few of your favorite spots around Columbus?
Caleb: Hangover Easy, Local Cantina and Chocolate Cafe. The Columbus Museum of Art, the zoo and the various theaters around Columbus.

Katie: What’s on your current playlist?
Caleb: Teddy Swims, Harry Pane, Gary Clark Jr., Sereda, Michael Bublé, Sinatra, Milo Meskens, Jason Isbell and Marc Broussard. As well as various Broadway playlists.

Katie: Who is your creative inspiration?
Caleb: Brian d’Arcy James. If I could emulate anyone’s career, it would be his. Criminally underrated.

Ordinary Days runs April 26 – May 5 at the Shedd Theatre in the Columbus Performing Arts Center (549 Franklin Ave.). To purchase tickets, go to www.imaginecolumbus.org.

This article is part of a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council as part of the Art Makes Columbus campaign. Explore a calendar of events, public art database and artist stories at columbusmakesart.com. To learn more about GCAC grants visit gcac.org.



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