Student Directed, Student Approved

Laugh or cry at the upcoming student directed one acts

Spilling+the+Tea+in+Drama+Class%3A%0ASeniors+Elizabeth+Hill+and+Ryan+Furlong+discuss+their+piece.+Students+practiced+every+day+after+school+for+their+pieces.
Spilling the Tea in Drama Class:
Seniors Elizabeth Hill and Ryan Furlong discuss their piece. Students practiced every day after school for their pieces.

Spilling the Tea in Drama Class: Seniors Elizabeth Hill and Ryan Furlong discuss their piece. Students practiced every day after school for their pieces.

Austin Uhlig

Austin Uhlig

Spilling the Tea in Drama Class: Seniors Elizabeth Hill and Ryan Furlong discuss their piece. Students practiced every day after school for their pieces.

Adrian Enzastiga, Staff Writer

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The lights dim across the auditorium and a wave of silence draws in the crowd. The stage is illuminated and the curtains are drawn. Actors dot the scene, already posed to put on a spectacular show.

This will be a setup similar to the upcoming student directed one-acts. On Tuesday, May 15 at 6 pm, eight 10-15 minute one-act plays will be performed. Each has two student co-directors and are performed by students, freshmen through seniors.

These one acts are considered to be the final project for the Drama 2 class. In this class, students learn to write, produce, and direct plays. The directors choose their play, hold auditions, cast their actors, and go from there. It is a class that some even take twice. This is the case for junior Austin Fleck, having also taken up the mantle of director in his freshman year.

“It’s a culmination of everything that we’ve learned in Drama 1 and Drama 2. It’s just a really good opportunity for anybody in those classes because you get to touch on everything that you would normally do in any real full on production,” Fleck said.

Previously, student directors had to use a published play. This year, drama teacher and director Michelle Williamson is allowing her students to use their own self-written plays.

“They get to choose their play, analyze their play, come up with the ideas. They get to see their vision up on the stage, which is awesome,” Williamson said.

This change to the one-act process can influence the directing experience, as the students are given more creative freedom. As is the case with sophomore Alec Randazzo, who has decided to direct his own originally written script.

“I’m pretty excited for the audience to see what I’ve made and how they’re going to react. It’s all very stressful but I feel like it will come together in the end,” Randazzo said.

However, even for those who chose an unoriginal script, like Fleck, there is still opportunity for personal touches.

“Even doing something that you didn’t write is still really cool because you’ll get to take something else and you’ll be able to add your own touches to it, put your own flare on it, and make it your own,” Fleck said.

The one-acts also allow students to better identify with the view of a director. Junior Brianna Guthmiller now recognizes the intense pressure a director carries.

“It’s an opportunity to experience first hand what it’s like to direct a play and all the aspects of it and feeling the stress and what directors go through. I definitely understand why Ms. Williamson is so stressed out all the time. We only get a snippet of the feelings that she feels for all the months that go into producing the school plays,” Guthmiller said.

The same applies for better understanding the limits of actors when directing.

“Now knowing both sides of the process, being an actor and being a director, I now understand where they are and what they are going to be capable of during this time,” Fleck said.

The dramatic arts may be something students view as a potential career, while others see it as just another extracurricular activity.

“It gives you different perspectives because right now I’ve just been doing tech and acting so this gives me a chance to be behind-the-scenes and actually put together my own show and see it come to life,” Guthmiller said.

Either way, for directors and actors alike, these student-lead shows allow them to experience the thrills of hearing an audience’s applause, or the satisfaction of watching their imagination come to life.

 

Admission is free; go see them on May 15th.

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Student Directed, Student Approved