January 19, 2012

For Alexander Libby, it's always showtime

Ever since he was a kid growing up in Freeport, the Cheverus alum has aspired to a career in show biz. Look at him now.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Alexander Libby poses with a poster for “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” at the Nordica Theatre in Freeport, where he recently hosted a private screening.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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For another scene, Daldry wanted Hanks' character to tell a story using paper shadow puppets, and he gave the puppet-show development chore to Libby. So Libby found himself under a table with Hanks, showing the Oscar winner how to bring them to life.

Libby grew up in Freeport and was involved in theater early on. He started his own theater, the Carriage House Theater, as a teenager in a commercial building located next door to his father's business, Houses and Barns by John Libby. He got a job around the same time at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick.

Then he went off to Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., to study theater. While there, he spent his off time "knocking on doors" of theater production offices in New York. During his sophomore year of college, he got a job as a production assistant for Steven Beckler, production supervisor for a version of "La Cage Aux Folles."

From there, Libby kept getting other production and stage manager-type jobs, and never finished college. He worked on a touring production of "Wicked" and on several Broadway shows, including "The Woman in White" and "High Fidelity." As a stage manager, he primarily oversaw people and things on stage -- what and who needed to be where.

During his work on "The Woman in White," Libby met producer Bob Boyett and started working periodically in his office. One day, Boyett had a fateful conversation with his friend Daldry, who is primarily a theater director despite having directed major films including "Billy Elliot," "The Hours" and "The Reader."

Daldry told him that with all his projects and the Tony Awards coming up, he really needed someone to help him be more organized, to be his assistant. Without hesitation, Boyett said Libby would be the right man for the job.

After working with Libby for more than two years and seeing his range of skills on "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," Daldry agrees.

"What makes him so good at it? He has impeccable taste, an unbelievably strong work ethic, and enough charm to get through what can be some very difficult situations," said Daldry.

As for dreams of becoming a director himself, Libby says he doesn't really have them. He is working on some software that sprang out of an idea he got during the filming of "Extremely Loud" that would basically take a script and create a visual representation of it for the cast and crew to follow. Libby says he's lining up financing and hopes to market it.

But for now, he's getting ready to go to London to work on the Summer Olympics with Daldry, who will produce. After that, he'll go back to his life in New York and continue to look for ways to put on a show.

"I just like making shows," he said, "whatever I can do, however I fit in."

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

 

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Additional Photos

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As a teenager, Libby started his own theater company in Freeport. Since then, he held a variety of stage-manager-type jobs on Broadway and elsewhere before signing on as assistant to director Stephen Daldry two years ago.

Courtesy photo

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Director Stephen Daldry, pictured on the set of “Extremely Loud,” said Libby had “huge responsibilities” from start to finish in the production of the film.

Warner Bros.

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Libby praised star Tom Hanks for his “team player” attitude.

Warner Bros.



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