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Reflections on One-Acts

February 2013

After the successful production of their one-act plays in December, students from last fall's directing class took a moment to relax over winter break.

Three of the one-acts took place on Monday, Dec. 10, with the other two performances on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Audience members on both days experienced pieces with great variety in subject matter and genre. Professor Corinne Johnson, who taught the directing class, felt this variety provided a wide spectrum of challenges for the students.

"The different choices showcased the very different personalities that made up this year's directing class," Johnson said. "There was everything from the absurdism of Ionesco, to realism, to a turn of the century drawing room comedy."

Each of the student directors worked diligently to research and prepare for their performances. It took dedication from both the directors and their actors to coordinate rehearsal schedules and unite all the necessary theatrical elements into a final, polished piece. Johnson said she was proud of the time and effort each student gave to their project.

"After all was said and done, I think that long hours and hard work gave each of the directors a better understanding of the job of the director, and a clearer path to effective storytelling," Johnson said.

The following are the directors' reflections on their experience:

Mallory Baldwin (Junior, Theatre major) directed "Vines in the Vacuum" by Jimmy Burnelle. Baldwin said that lighting and sound challenged her the most, since she hasn't done a lot of previous work in these areas. She most enjoyed getting to tailor a finished product that she liked and thanked her actors for their work.

"I wasn't expecting as many laughs as I heard in the audience," Baldwin said. "It went very well!"

Austin Eiben (Senior, Theatre major) directed Carol Lashof's "Medusa's Tale." Eiben said he was happy with the work of his actors. But he learned not to take on more work than one person can handle and effectively accomplish.

"I tried doing everything while still trying to direct," Eiben said. "I'm afraid nothing was as great as it could have been."

Jacob Hanenberger (Junior, Theatre major) directed "Another Way Out" by Lawrence Langner. Hanenberger's biggest challenge was ensuring that everything-from costumes to set design-fit the 1930's time period of his show. He said he garnered much from the process and was happy with the final product.

"I feel that I picked the right actors for the parts," Hanenberger said. "They really embraced their characters."

Stacy Phipps (Senior, Theatre Education major) directed Alice Gerstenberg's "Overtones." Phipps learned how important it is to have patience, no matter the situation. She was happy with both her performance as a director and the performance of her actors.

"I was most pleased by the audience's response to the performance," Phipps said. "Their thrill was mine, also."

Tim Stompanato (Senior, Theatre & Philosophy double major) directed "The Lesson" by Eugene Ionesco. Although not overly fond of the "paperwork," scheduling, and organizing that comes with directing, Stompanato said he found the process to be a truly rewarding one.

"I learned not only directing skills, but developed a stronger sense of my acting skills, strengths and weaknesses," Stompanato said.

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