Madison Watkins, Staff Writer
Theatre majors who are in this semester’s play directing class presented their final projects at this year’s Dramarama. It was a three-night event on Nov. 14-16 where the students directed a short one-act play presented for their final grade in the class. Auditions were held earlier in the semester where students could perform a short monologue for the directors so they could choose which actors they wanted to perform in their individual plays.
Multiple plays were performed each night to accommodate the 19 students in the class. It was up to the student directors to choose their actors, think of the costumes and pick their own lighting and sound cues. There were normally no more than two to three actors in each show. Most of the plays were comedies with a few dramas added to the lineup.
Student directors Jakarie Miller and Brianna McDonald enjoyed the experience of directing their own shows for the first time.
“It was actually a lot of fun. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It helped that I had some seasoned actors who took directing well who were also able to find their own way to do things and have fun with it,” explained Miller a junior theatre major. “It’s one of the things I want to do apart from acting,” she added.
“It was really neat. It was kind of liberating to pick my own piece and do whatever I want with it and have my actors execute it flawlessly,” McDonald, a senior theatre major commented.
Senior theatre major Kenny Jones has directed plays before for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry’s (BCM) annual Dessert Theatre but said this experience was different compared to the other plays he has done.
“This show was different because this was the first thing I directed that I didn’t write myself. I tried to honor the writers vision while incorporating my vision,” he explained.
Due to the large number of students in the class, some of the directors had to pull double-duty by directing their own show and acting in another. Junior theatre major Macie Young acted in another student’s show the same night her play was performed. Young described it as a fun experience.
“I really enjoyed being a director. It was a new experience for me, so it was sort of exciting to be a part of the whole directing process. I’ve always enjoyed acting as well. I’m overall just lucky because I had such amazing and dedicated actors for one show as well as a wonderful and supportive director for the other show,” Young elaborated.
Young’s preference to acting versus directing was insignificant.
“There’s a lot that goes into directing that you don’t really think about when you’re an actor or part of the audience. There’s lots of behind the scenes work, but acting can definitely be more stressful, especially for those of us that get performance anxiety. Looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted to change anything. I enjoyed both acting and directing. It was an amazing experience with so many amazing people in the theatre department,” she said.
This was freshman theatre major Maya Christian’s first production for Armstrong and she acted in two different plays for Dramarama. Christian commented on what is was like being in two shows “being in two shows was great! I love the experience with working with two different directors and cast members, however toward the end of Dramarama I did find it a little stressful when my workload started to pile up but it was nothing I couldn’t handle,” Christian explained.
Since both shows were comedies, Christian found it enjoyable to be working with directors who had fun instead of being serious.
“I felt working with my classmates was less serious than working with a director that’s older than me. It gave me a chance to relax and actually have fun doing a show instead of making everything super serious,” she added.
Auditions for the Armstrong Masquers upcoming shows for the spring semester, “The Spitfire Grill” and “Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen,” will be held in Jenkins Theatre on Dec. 4 and 5 at 6 pm.