by Elie Doubleday
Having taken playwriting, I can say with confidence that the three plays are very well-written. By now, we have a tragedy every year, and this year’s is Turning Point by Andy S. To offset the tears, there’s two comedies: Flag Day by Isabella Waldron and Enlightenment by Mark. F. It’s going to be great. I spoke with the directors to get their take on everything.
Andy S. has acted in many of the school plays so far, but he tells me directing is a whole other situation. With acting, you’re given the option to listen and take direction from a director.
But when you are the director, you have to come up with your own ideas and directions to give the actors. You’ve got a group of actors who are depending on you to make the right decisions for them. It puts a lot of stress on the director, especially first-time directors.
Andy says, however, that “the nice thing about being a student director is it levels the playing field a little. Because you’re classmates with your actors, they’re more inclined to ask questions and be more engaged during rehearsals.”
Speaking of rehearsals, they can sometimes be difficult to coordinate because students are frequently visiting colleges (seniors) or attending sports practice (love that sports requirement!). Nevertheless, they’re going well, and because everyone already knows each other, it’s easy to schedule extra rehearsals.
Many of you already know Andy’s playwriting to be comedic, as was demonstrated in the cooking show performed in gathering. But for Turning Point, “I went out of my comfort zone to write a more solemn and dark play.”
Andy credits much of the success to his actors. He’s “really thankful for all my cast for being so willing to listen to my directions. My play would be only half as good if it weren’t for their amazing acting abilities. I’m very proud of each and every one of them.”
Mark F. has also acted in his fair share of school plays, but he’s also been known as props master and stage manager. When he managed Medea, he “had gotten closer to the process of putting on a play than before.
However, being a director is different (no surprise).” Mark has to pay attention to how things appear and whether that’s how he wants them to appear. It’s his own vision rather than carrying out someone else’s.
There’s a lot of work and energy required to keep the cast, and Mark himself, on task. But Mark told me “the concern I had of not being able to direct my peers was initially allayed by the auditioners, and then once I had cast the show, my responsive cast members.”
The thing is, everyone who auditions comes prepared to work, and of course Mark picked actors he knows he can work well with. And overall, he’s “really thankful to have had my play selected to be produced, from the range of excellent works, and to get the opportunity to direct.”
Isabella Waldron you should know from the most recent play, Charley’s Aunt. And she’s excited about the one-acts because “working with such a small cast is a great opportunity to get to know people better.”
Though she’s never directed before, she loves it and would want to do it again in the future. The process of directing is so different from acting, and Isabella’s excited to “get on set and start seeing the show shape up even more. It’s super neat to see something I wrote on a Google Doc come to life and transform.” Especially something she spent so much perfecting.
The play opens May 11th and runs through the 14th. It begins at 7pm every night. The one-acts are frequently in high demand as everyone wants to see the plays their friends have written and watch their friends act. Everyone knows the plays will be good. So be prepared. Tickets go live this weekend. Click this link to reserve yours (click on the poster on the right). Get psyched!