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March 8, 2024

Directing The Saints: Kevin Collins

March 8, 2024
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This week, we connected with Kevin Collins to ask him some questions about his directing process. You can read more about Kevin below this article.

Directing, Spiritually

Q: As a Director, what is your process like working on The Saints?  

Everything starts with the script. I imagine each scene unfolding visually, like a film. I note the locations for each scene, the atmosphere the writer has created, and the relationships between the characters.

Casting is essential to the success of each series. We have a remarkable cohort of regular actors and are constantly adding new talent.

Once we’ve laid out the story clearly in the recording session, it’s time to frame and punctuate it with music and sound effects. I hope to create an immersive experience for listeners, so that they feel they’re really there with the saints, accompanying them as the events of the story unfold around them.  

Kevin Collins with Gwen Adams, Erik Sopracasa, and Nicholas Troy.

What are some of your favorite scenes or shows you’ve directed?

It’s difficult to choose, because they’re all written so well. Stand-out scenes for me are those where the writing, directing, acting, and sound design all work together to create a strong sense that the saints are real people, like us. The Pier Giorgio-Valeria scene in the mountains comes to mind, as does the fatherly relationship between Kaiko and Father Damien, and Sister Lucia’s incredulity that Mother Bakhita could ever forgive the people who enslaved and abused her. I was also very struck with the portrayal of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearances to Juan Diego, and the tender way she spoke with him. But each saint and each script is unique, so each new series becomes my favorite while I’m working on it.  

Do you have any upcoming directing projects you can tell us about?

I’m looking forward to hearing our upcoming releases of Stanley Rother, Edith Stein, Saint Charbel, and Gianna Molla. They’re all fantastic scripts and the casts are superb!  

Working in Audio

As a director, what’s the best part about working on The Saints? 

It’s a privilege to enter into the stories of these remarkable men and women, and to collaborate with our incredible team to bring their stories to life. I’m grateful to be creating work I believe in, and that I can share with my family. The variety of stories, genres, cultures, time periods and locations we’re called upon to create is also thrilling.

What is unique about working in audio?

The richness of audio lies in its limitations. We have to create the sense of a real world and real people, using only sound, music, and speech. Things that work on stage and on screen – a look, a gesture, some physical business – these have to be transposed into sound in order to be intelligible in audio. It’s a wonderful limitation to work within, because it forces us to find the essence of what each scene needs to communicate. We can’t rely on any visual cues to make the story intelligible.

Advice for Work and Life

As both an actor and director, what advice you would give to aspiring actors and directors?

Read, Listen, Practice.

Immerse yourself in all forms of creative writing – fiction, poetry, drama, screenplays – both the classics and contemporary works of excellence. Reading, especially reading out loud, will develop your sense of language, rhetoric, and style.

For voice actors, I recommend listening to as much material as you can to learn what you like, and what makes for great voice acting. Listening will also teach you what works and the stylistic differences, between different genres and media: Animation is different from video games, film narration, and audio drama. Each medium has its own rules and style, and styles change over time.

Finally, there’s no better way to improve at something than practice, either on your own or in a professional setting.

Who’s a saint that you find inspiring in your own daily life?

St. Joseph: He’s a husband and father, and a craftsman, in that order. I often think of St. Joseph employing his talents and skills to support his family. As an artist, it’s tempting to place one’s work and the desire for excellence as the primary aim of one’s life. St. Joseph’s example reminds me that my primary vocation and duties are as a husband and father, and that my creative work, as much as I love it, always has to be placed in the proper context.


Kevin Collins is a writer, director and producer for The Merry Beggars and the company’s Casting Director. He trained at the National Theatre School of Canada. His acting credits include lead roles in the West End, off-Broadway, and at theatres and festivals in the USA, UK, and Europe. Screen credits include MUNICH (dir, Steven Spielberg), BABY MAMA, INFINITE JUSTICE, and recurring and guest star roles in US television. His voice credits include AAA video games, animation, RTE, BBC and WNYC radio dramas, and national network TV advertising campaigns for clients including General Electric, Nissan, Pfizer, Bayer, Pharma, and dozens more.  

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