1. How long have you been a part of the CLT family?
I have been with CLT since 1989 when I was the rehearsal pianist and pit conductor for West Side Story.
2. How many shows have you been a part of at CLT?
I’ve lost count of the actual number but it’s around fifty.
3. What first got you involved with CLT, and what keeps you coming back?
I had been teaching at St. Dom’s and directed and music directed for the Drama Club. I had just started graduate school and met John Blanchette and Eileen Messina at a Lewiston High School production of Oliver. I also met Scott Powers when we played for Lewiston High School’s previous production of The Wizard of Oz. So all of these people were kind enough to think of me when they need someone for the 1989 CLT production of West Side Story. I was later asked by John to be the music director of the 1990 summer production of 42nd Street. That was my first MD position. Later, I was asked to direct Fiddler on the Roof for a January 1994 production. I keep coming back because of the challenge of each show whether it’s from the development of the actors’ perspectives on stage, the creation of a sound from the orchestra, or just working with a good group of people. Usually, it’s the combination of these three along with many more reasons.
4. When you are not involved in a production, what else do you enjoy doing?
Most people know that I read a lot of books, so that’s a given. I also direct a couple of choirs for the Prince of Peace Parish and play for the services. I also must do the New York Times Crossword puzzle every day!
5. Can you tell us something about you that most people may not know?
I won the Industrial Arts Award in the eighth grade for outstanding student. Now anyone who knows me would find this ridiculous as I don’t know which end of a screwdriver to use to pound a nail.
6. Is there one show (or more) that you could be a part of that you would never get tired of?
There are several that I wouldn’t mind doing for a long period of time. As Musical Director, I wouldn’t get tired of A Chorus Line, Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors, The Fantasticks, and Spamalot. As Director, Avenue Q, Annie, and yet to be done, Something Rotten.
7. Why do you feel theater is an important part of a community?
The theater has always provided a creative outlet for people to either participate on stage in or appreciate from the audience. The process of any production brings people of different backgrounds, talents, beliefs, cultures, and knowledge to work and play together in creating a visual experience from a bunch of lines on pieces of paper. The audience participates as well when it suspends its own sense of reality to allow the performers to take on various roles, whether serious or comical, to break out into song for no apparent reason and dance a number without necessarily moving the show the next logical point. Theater can provide solace and comfort during difficult times such as the one we’re presently experiencing. When this pandemic becomes part of our history, there will be more of a need to get back to the old brick building and put on a show! In fact, I am sure that there are future works being created right now that may someday be presented on the CLT stage that address the present state of affairs.
8. Will we be seeing you again in the future?
Well, before the pandemic hit, I was in line to be at the theatre for most of the next year. As soon as things get back to normal (in 2025?), I plan on being somewhere directing or behind the set, conducting.
Paul G. Caron (Director and Musical Director) with cast members of CLT's 2019 ANNIE!