Theater has been a driving force in F. Scott Regan’s life for over 50 years From his early days as a high school actor, to his first tentative steps as a director in college, to today, working as a respected Glass City stage director. So what first inspired Regan to work in theater all those years ago?
“I think it was probably an attempt to be around girls, actually,” he said with a laugh. “The social aspect of theater allows you to make friends, with a project,” “Like, ‘we’re putting on a play,’ rather than the artificial, ‘he likes her’, ‘she likes him’. I think that was a really important part of getting me going, in that I admired certain girls, and they were in the drama club, so…”
100+ times a director
Regan’s resume now includes well over 100 credits as a director for multiple companies, starting in college in the 1960s. He attended the State University of New York at Albany, directing his first show— Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit”— while still a student.
“I really got turned onto the aspect that, as an actor, you have to worry about one thing. And as a director, you have to think of a whole bunch of things simultaneously. I was probably pretty terrible at first, I think I was more of a ‘here, do it like me’ kind of director, acting it out and having the kids follow that way, rather than leading them to their own understanding.”
His career path saw him work at a college in Iowa for a few years before relocating to Bowling Green State University in 1982, where he taught and directed shows for over 24 years. While there he also founded the Horizon Youth Theatre, an outreach program at BGSU which is now in its 21st year.
In the years since his retirement from BGSU, Regan has also helmed more than a dozen plays for the Toledo Rep (citing his 2013 production of “Death of a Salesman” as a personal highlight), as well as additional productions for Actors Collaborative Toledo. Through it all, his approach to creating works on stage continues to evolve and grow with each show he directs.
“What I try to do is change my directing pattern, depending on who I’m working with,” he said. “How much experience, what they’re comfortable with. Sometimes, actors like a certain kind of guidance at first, then explore it on their own. Others say, ‘leave me alone for a while.’ I try to sense where the cast is, in terms of their level of comfort and their experience level.”
Q & A With F. Scott Regan
I have always wanted to… travel around the world.
What do you admire in people? Honesty and a sense of humor.
What is your pet peeve? Lack of honesty and a lack of a sense of humor.
What is something that most people don’t know about you? I’m celebrating my 50th wedding anniversary with my wonderful wife Diane.
What are words you live by? “Do unto others.”
What advice would you give to the younger you? Don’t take myself quite as seriously. Spend more time not on the job.
Who is someone you’d like to meet? Tom Hanks.
What inspires you now? Doctors and nurses. I’ve just been through a double bypass heart operation, and it just makes you appreciate the miracles of medicine these days, and what they can do to carve you open and put you back together somehow.
Who do you most admire? My wife Diane.
Favorite Summer food? Ice cream.
Favorite Movie? Tootsie.