Larrie Tiffany is the director of the Daytona Playhouse's upcoming production, "A Bad Year for Tomatoes."
Larrie Tiffany wasn't always interested in theater.
Far from it, actually. Tiffany was a construction worker. He used to spend his time on skyscrapers — not center stage.
But then, 35 years ago, after a few life changes, he attended an audition for a Shakespeare play. And he got cast.
“It just caught my interest," Tiffany said. "I just feel comfortable on stage. I enjoy the process — the smell of the theater, I don’t know.”
The Ormond-by-the-Sea resident, who describes himself as a "hometown boy," born and raised in Holly Hill, has starred in about 40 plays and directed another 20. In a few days, the Daytona Playhouse will open with the latest show he's been involved with.
Tiffany is directing "A Bad Year for Tomatoes," a seven-person comedic play about Myra, a famous TV actress who flees Hollywood to a small New England town to write her biography. But her nosy neighbors make "getting away" a bit complicated, and Myra, played by Kellie Jenkins, concocts a crazy sister to keep them away.
The play was written 40 years ago, and as director, Tiffany had to make a few calls to update parts of the play into the 21st century, What Tiffany loves about directing is working with the cast and seeing them become the play's characters.
As an actor himself, he knows what that feels like. Recently, he played the lead part in the Daytona Playhouse's rendition of "On Golden Pond" in January. It's one of his four favorite plays he's been a part of in the last three and a half decades. "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "Sleuth" and "Deathtrap" round out his favorites. These were all plays he starred in a leading role.
“I had a great time with them," Tiffany said.
He doesn't go to as many auditions anymore. As he's grown older, Tiffany said he's been more interested in directing. Aside from the Daytona Playhouse, he also has directed plays at the Little Theater of New Smyrna Beach.
For Tiffany, being part of a production, whether backstage directing, building sets or in the reciting lines in the spotlight, has been a "tremendous life enrichment." He initially just wanted to meet new people when he attended that fateful Shakespeare audition. But it became more than that.
He learned about culture, he said. He didn't go to college or attend a theater school. All the knowledge he's acquired, Tiffany has gotten from the stage.
“It’s a wonderful experience — I’ve found it to be,” Tiffany said.
"A Bad Year for Tomatoes" will open at the Daytona Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. It will run until March 3.