April 21, 2004
shorts to debut Monday
plays in the theatre department showcase talent and initiative.
Theatre students have been working throughout the semester
to get their 10 minutes in the spotlight.
On Monday and Tuesday, 11 students will make their directorial
debut at 5 p.m. in Hays Theatre. Each play is only 10
minutes long, said T.J. Walsh, an assistant professor
of theatre. He said the point is to make the directing
experience an integral part of theatre training.
Amy Dullnig, a junior theatre and radio-TV-film major,
said she enjoys the challenge of directing and all the
work she has been doing.
For just a 10-minute play, I have done a ton of
work and thats only a fraction of the amount a director
of a full-length play does, she said. Its
a lot of work but the payoff in the end is definitely
Dullnig and several other student directors are enrolled
in a directing class, which is required for all theatre
A student chooses a play out of the pile of 20 without
knowing which play they are choosing and reads it in class,
Walsh said. If they like the play, they keep it
and that is their play for the semester. If they dont
like the play, they may return the play to the pile and
select another, but the second play they choose is their
play for the semester.
Dullnig is directing Slop Culture, a comedy
by Robb Badlam that takes place in New York City.
Katie Knapek, a junior theatre major, plays Danielle,
a woman who applies for a job with her friends help.
Knapek said she auditioned for the play because she participated
in the directors projects last semester and thinks
the plays are a great opportunity.
I think that with these auditions you can go in
and truly be yourselves, she said. It is a
little weird to have all of your peers watching you as
you are auditioning, but actually I feel more comfortable
in this type of audition.
The student directors examine ideas and themes, the setting
of the play, the biography of the playwright and even
the history of production. Dullnig said they analyzed
the meaning of the plays and discussed what effects they
wanted to have on the audience.
Students then create a concept for the play, which is
where they visualize how they want to present the play
to the audience. Dullnig said this is where they discuss
the meaning of the plays and what effect they want to
have on the audience.
Because the plays are class projects, there is no budget
allotted for sets and costumes. The plays are all student
initiated and Knapek said some sets are as simple as a
bed or a couch and the costumes are simple as well.
Walsh said students benefit from the class because it
gives them an understanding of what directing really entails.
Directing is about leadership and vision,
he said. The students who come through the directing
class have an understanding of what authentic leadership
is about and how to communicate a vision to others. I
think it is among the most important classes we teach
in our program.