Profile: Paul Druet
by Sean McQuaid
Paul Druet, clad in shorts and seated in the grass with a good book, looks and sounds as contented as the proverbial clam when asked about his work as head of the Confederation Centre's lighting department.
"I'm one of those rare people who really enjoys what he does," he says. There's always new pieces, new faces, new events. You don't stagnate. You know you're alive. Like most people in this business, I can't think of anything else I'd really rather do."
Druet and many of his lighting crew started out in a high school drama club at Charlottetown Rural under teacher Don Smith. Paul came to the Confederation Centre in 1969 to do children's theatre. "I got a taste of it and liked it," he recalls. He still likes it today, and continues to run the Centre's lighting since becoming head electrician in 1976.
The job is sometimes hectic, especially when preparing for the summer season, but once the shows are up and running things are more relaxed. Much of Paul's spare time is reserved for family since he has two young children.
One of the perks of the job is the chance to take in a lot of theatre: Paul sees almost every show from beginning to end. This year's Anne show, he says, was "the best in 20 years. The director [took] the time and [had] the knowledge to do this right."
This summer was also a personal milestone for Druet since he was assigned to actually design the lighting for one of the Centre's shows, Puttin' on the Ritz. Outside contractors are usually called in for that, and Paul describes this opportunity as the high point of his career.
Druet likes working with people and says half the enjoyment of his job comes from the lighting crew being able to do their jobs. "I've got a great support system," he says. Still, a great deal of satisfaction comes from the fulfilment of personal vision. "The best part is to envision something and see that picture materialize somewhere down the road. The event for me is to get it on stage, have the curtain open, and have it look right."