On My Mind: Guy Gardner, director/choreographer

Bloody entertaining:

“This show is going to be like a PBS documentary if it had been on Showtime late at night,” Gardner said with a devilish grin. “It’s grungy, it’s punk, and it’s filled with rock music and cuss words, but all while giving you the facts about this man’s life. And as a director, I love pushing boundaries and being edgy because a big part of theater is taking people’s expectations and flipping them upside down.”

Looking forward:

“When I was a kid, community theater was all about being traditional and catering to the audience, with productions such as ‘Annie’ and ‘The Sound of Music,’ 

” he said. “The Barn is thinking outside the box, which is awesome. They’re doing shows you wouldn’t expect in the suburbs. And they’re giving directors more freedom and allowing them to take something and just create.”

The KC stage:

“Kansas City has one of the best theater scenes in the nation,” Gardner said. “We have everything for everyone. The community is ridiculously tight-knit, and you never feel judged or unworthy among your peers. One day, I hope to travel the country more for shows, but I will always come back to Kansas City. It’s my home now.”

The more you know:

“As someone representing the entertainment community, I feel that if I don’t give high school students honesty, they’ll either go into this business with unrealistic hopes, or not even pursue their dream at all,” he said. “One of the things I emphasize to them is that they shouldn’t be scared of their own instincts, because there is never one way to learn anything. If you’re not allowed to explore your thoughts as a kid, it’s an injustice.”

On being self-taught:

“When I wanted to learn a Scottish accent, I just watched ‘Shrek’ over and over again until I got it right,” he said. “Some people go to teachers and use dialect books, but I don’t want to be taught with someone else’s techniques. I just want to learn it myself. My process is me.”

The next act:

“People ask me all the time what my main goal is, and the truth is, I don’t know,” Gardner admitted. “And I want to keep it that way. I like not knowing because the unknown is the most exciting part of life.”