My experience with the One Acts Festival started my freshman year, when (for some stupid reason that I do not even remember) I missed my chance to see the one and only performance. Trust me, after hearing all about the show, I truly wished and still do wish I had been there.
The next year, I co-stage-managed for Philosophy of a Kiss, directed by Rachel Bowman. (Before POK, I had only stage managed for a dance show at my high school) At Belhaven, I quickly learned that calling a show is not the only job of the Stage Manager. I don’t think I had any idea how important a stage manager is to a production. I had an awesome time tapping into my very strong Type-A, oldest-child personality. I loved all the organization and office supplies that I was required to use. Making forms, calling late actors (almost every rehearsal), taking blocking notation, supporting the director… I had found a new love in the world of theatre.
Junior year I was cast in The Collector, directed by my roommate, Moriah Whiteman. Seeing as how I am a Production emphasis, I had only been in one other show at Belhaven. I was a wee bit worried. Jumping right in with my fellow cast mate, P.A.S., we had a real groovy time exploring and getting to know the characters. Our rehearsals were not exactly what one would call normal. We spent one rehearsal just wandering around the Center for the Arts, taking pictures. Another time, we brought in five things that we found meaningful and told the story that each object held; these became the props we used for the show.
It was after The Collector that I pretty much begged Joe to let me take his directing class. (I had to beg, because the directing class was not within my catalogue and I had not taking the Acting I class.) I did not really have a desire to direct, but I wanted to learn what a director’s process is and how, as a designer or stage manager, I could better communicate with and aid Directors in their process.
This semester has been a huge learning process. I am learning how to communicate with actors, stage managers, designers, and professors in a way that I have never had to before. I am in charge of making sure that the story is told in the best way possible. Talk about pressure. My roommate and former director, Moriah Whiteman, wrote the script that I chose to use.
[Sic] is a strange and personal story and I have been very aware of upholding the integrity of the script and making sure that the story is told in a respectful manner. My amazing cast and wonderful Stage Manager have made this process unforgettable. I cannot wait for everything to come together, and to see how an audience responds to the story. I have been so blessed by this directing experience, and by the vast and varied experiences, I have encountered through the One Acts Festival.
—– Senior Production Emphasis (CS)