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Directing Class Takes on One-Act Plays

November 2010

The SAU Theatre Department Directing class teaches students the basic principles of the theory and technique of directing. The class is currently in the process of beginning their final project - directing a one-act play. Each student is responsible for every aspect of directing a show, which includes selection of a play, interpretation of the chosen script, casting their play, and leading rehearsals.

The students began by selecting, casting, and directing a 7 to 10 minute scene, learning by trial and error as well as from in-class instruction on how to communicate to their actors in order to achieve the desired goal. This year's directing class consists of six students: Aaron Randolph III, Tony Stratton, Val Zawada, Kristen Jett, Grace Allen and Stephanie Seward.

Aaron Randolph III will be directing "Sure Thing" by David Ives. "I have loved this play for a long time," he says. "It's hilarious." Randolph looks forward to experiencing the entire process of directing a show, even if certain aspects intimidate him. "The idea of being responsible for a product that involves so many man-hours is daunting."

Tony Stratton will be directing Steve Martin's "Wasp." The play satirizes the "nuclear family" of the 1950s. In directing this play, Stratton hopes to expand his overall knowledge of the theatre. "My goal is to learn in order to apply a different perspective to my acting skill," he says. The new challenge of directing intrigues and intimidates Stratton, because it is a foreign area of theatre for him.

Val Zawada will be directing "The Window" by Frank Marcus. "I feel I have a lot to explore with the story," Zawada says. She also hopes to explore herself and her relationship with the actors as their director. The art of directing intrigues Zawada as well as intimidates her. "There's so much room for success ... But also so much room for failure."

Kristen Jett will be directing Garry William's "Rain." She selected the play because of her interest in a particular non-speaking character. "I hope to be able to gain more knowledge about my directing style and what techniques work for me," she says. Jett finds the unpredictability of the project exciting. "All sorts of things can go wrong," she says, "it's hard to tell what is going to happen."

Grace Allen will be directing "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls" by Christopher Durang, which is a comical take on Tennessee Williams' classic play "The Glass Menagerie." Allen is eager to discover what the directors here at SAU go through for each production. "I'm excited to take an idea and see it through to the end," she says. "I'm intimidated to be the boss lady!"

Stephanie Seward will be directing "Hello Out There" by William Saroyan. "The play is very dark," says Seward. "It has a lot of interesting levels." Having only directed one small scale one-act as a senior in high school before this class, Seward is somewhat anxious about this daunting task. "I've enjoyed directing so far because it's very fulfilling to see your direction inform an actor's decisions," she says.

The Directing Class One Acts will be performed Monday, Dec. 13 and Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the Studio Theatre. Monday night's performances are "Sure Thing", "Hello Out There" and "For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls." Tuesday's performances are "The Window," "Rain," and "Wasp." The performances start at 7 pm and are free, so be sure to make it out to see what our aspiring directors have created! Seats will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis!

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