One Acts 2019: A Word from the Directors

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One Acts 2019: A Word from the Directors

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The One Acts Festival is an annual event where students direct plays that are performed by other students. This year the plays Overtones, The Proposal, World Without Memory, The Game, and An Absolute True Story (As Told by a Bunch of Lying Liars) were performed on the 27th and 28th of September at 7pm. Interviews were conducted with some of the directors; here are their responses .

 

What is the play you’re directing about?

Eleni Tzougros, director of An Absolute True Story (As Told by a Bunch of Lying Liars): The one act play I … directed was a comedy about a family conflict involving a broken heirloom vase.

Jane Jensen, director of Overtones: The play is about how people hide their true selves/thoughts instead of telling the truth.

Kyra Mathias, director of The Proposal:  It centers around Ivan Vassilevitch, a working man with multiple health issues. He asks his long time neighbor, Chubukov, for the hand of his daughter, Natalya Stepanovna, in marriage… It is a comedic play written by Anton Chekhov, that pokes fun at bad chemistry and the toxicity of uncivilized disagreements.

 

What challenges did you face while directing?

Tzougros: One of the biggest challenges was creating a rehearsal schedule that accommodated for all nine cast members. It took constant communication from my cast members and being organized with the plans.

Mathias: A challenge I faced while directing was bringing forward the comedic aspects of the play. Because this is an earlier contemporary piece, the comedy is not written the same as it is now. To discover the comedic elements, it took a lot of continuous reading, reworking, and analysis of the script…Though it was difficult finding nuances, comedic or serious, it was always the most exciting part of rehearsals.

 

Which part of your play are you most proud of/excited to see on stage?

Tzougros: I am really proud of my cast. I chose some of the strongest actors that work well together. Their hard work and dedication was seen throughout the whole performance. I am so proud of how it turned out.

Jensen: My ability to give constructive criticism.

Mathias: I am proud of the character work. I taught my actors acting viewpoints and we [dove] into motive, ticks, and even the shape of different emotions and ideas. I think breaking down every aspect of acting really helped elevate the scene work and my actors’ commitment to their characters. I am really grateful to have worked with such dedicated actors!

 

How does the final project differ from what you first envisioned?

Tzougros: I wasn’t set on my vision to begin with so it wasn’t anything different. I was just impressed that we successfully executed the performances. It was one of the best feelings hearing people enjoyed what I created.

Jensen: It turned out a lot better than I imagined. I had a lot of loose ideas about the set/props when I began, and a strong vision of my actors, but it all came together in the end, and I am very proud.

Mathias: The final product was very different from how I first imagined it. Every rehearsal we discovered so much more about the story, and things like blocking and motive changed all the time. Overall, things grew and became better. Because of that, I am really glad the final product was different from how I first imagined it.

 

What is something you’ve learned from this experience?

Tzougros: I’ve learned so much these past months directing. Independent responsibility, personal organization, and self motivation are just a few traits that were enhanced for directing. I would do this again in a heartbeat. I am so grateful for this opportunity I had.

Jensen: How to work with what you have, and how to deal with last minute changes.

Mathias: I learned a lot from being a … director. I learned first hand the responsibilities of being … Even though I [showed] my cast acting viewpoints, I learned a lot more when I was watching them become their characters. Last but not least, I learned about Anton Chekhov and his work. All of these things have made me a better thespian and leader.

 

Both performances on Friday and Saturday were well received by audiences. The directors and actors alike learned a lot and had a great time participating in the festival. Though the festival this year has passed, it’ll be back next year and better than ever!