Student-directed plays to feature in annual theatre department showcase

By Sam Miller, Staff Writer

A showcase of short theatrical “one act” pieces will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Friday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Degenstein Center Theater.

There will be six total performances held during the showcase, which are directed and performed by students.

The showcase takes place each year during the fall semester as a way for students to showcase what they have learned in their directing class.

Each senior in the class is responsible for directing a one act play with two actors and fostering the creative process, from auditions, rehearsals and performances, under the guidance of Laura Dougherty, a visiting professor of theater.

The class is composed of Violeta Migirov, Hannah Paley, Rebekah Krumenacker, Abby Conway, Marisa Cedeno and Katherine Cardenas.

Dougherty is filling in for Doug Powers and previously worked at Winthrop University, Arizona State University and Illinois State University.

Student actors who will perform in the showcase are senior Maddie Tavarez, juniors Daniel Reynolds, Abby Dawes, Matt Sharrock and Kemah Armes, sophomores Kelsey Dowling, Brian Herrman, Nolan Nightingale and Nick Cardillo and first-years Morgan Wallace, Kyle Carey and Dalia Hamilton.

“In this showcase, I will be playing Jason in Anna Ziegler’s play, ‘Ron Swoboda’s Wish,’” Dowling said.

Dowling added that they have gained new knowledge from practicing for the showcase this semester.

“In this showcase I have really learned how to be comfortable in periods of silence,” Dowling said. “Brian and I share these really beautiful and vulnerable moments of silence together that you rarely get to have with other performers.”

Compared to other theatrical performances on campus, Dowling noted the wide range of topics covered in the plays that were chosen.

“This showcase is different, I think, because of the wide variety of content dis- cussed across the selection of plays being performed,” Dowling said. “What’s great about the directing showcase is that you get to collaborate with your friends in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise on the main stage.”

“For instance, I’ve never had the chance to work so intimately with Brian or Rebekah, but thanks to the directing showcase, I’ve been honored to work and learn with them both,” Dowling added.

Dowling said they hope those who come to the showcase approach the plays with no reservations.

“I hope attendees come to the performances with an open mind and are excited to see the

variety of acting and directing styles that our department features,”

Junior Caitlin Barnes, who is working as a stage manager for the showcase, said, “I’ve been an actor before and this is my second time stage managing the showcase. It has been an amazing experience.”

“[The students] have put [in] so much time and effort and it’s always great to see where their creativity takes them,” Barnes continued.

The showcase will be open to the public free of charge.

The Student Directing Showcase is a part of the second stage season, which also includes the experimental acting workshop production, the 24-Hour Play Festival and the Shakespeare Club production.

The main stage season includes the fall musical, the advanced acting workshop production, the student-directed play and the spring production.

This year, the main stage sea- son productions include “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl, “She Loves Me” by Joe Masteroff, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, “The Mineola Twins” by Paula Vogel and “Blue Stockings” by Jessica Swale.

The second stage season productions include “Saudi Scenes” by senior Faisal Al Yousif, “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen and “Topdog/ Underdog” by Suzan Lori- Parks. There will also be “A Night on Broadway” Cabaret Show in the spring.

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