Marisa Cardin/Senior Staff Writer
For years, Western has been offering a directing class in which students have the opportunity to direct short plays casted by other Western students. It has been extremely helpful to Theatre students trying to gain experience as both actors and directors, hoping to work in theatre companies after graduation.
This year, there were four one-act plays. As an attempt to understand what goes into these individual plays, Top interviewed a senior in the program:
TOP: What has been the most challenging thing as a director for the one acts?
Brittney Pearson, a director of the one act Superheroes Anonymous, explained that “The toughest part (of being a director) is giving your cast the time they need to really find their characters. The time period to develop these plays is relatively short, and there is so much going on because all of us are students,” she said. “As a director, you want each person to really become their character and thrive, but you’re also on a time crunch.” Auditions were held for “The Double Bind” a few weeks before Thanksgiving break, and actors and directors alike have been working hard to make sure that their shows are as perfect as possible.
TOP: What is the most rewarding aspect of directing?
Pearson responded: “The best part is watching other students grow as actors. It’s amazing to go from one rehearsal to the next and see how each person develops. You can see them coming out of their shells and really becoming amazing actors!”
TOP: What, if anything, inspired you to direct instead of act/tech/etc? What made you choose to direct your individual shows?
Pearson said: “Well, to be, honest this is a required course for graduation, but I really think we need it! I am normally in the role of technician, and it is really interesting to change it up. I think it is vital for everyone in theatre to understand the roles of other people in the company. It has really given me a new appreciation for what I’ve seen other directors do in past productions at Western,” she said. “I chose Superheroes Anonymous because it was just too wild not too! The entire premise is wacky, and it really makes me think about what would have happened if my childhood dream of being a superhero actually came true.” Her show centered around old, out-of-work-superheroes just trying to find themselves again. It was one of two comedies presented during “The Double Bind”, the other being Scales, directed by Bella Lewis.
TOP: What do you hope Western students to gain from seeing “The Double Bind”?
“I hope they leave “The Double Bind” thinking: wow, I think I could do that.! “The Double Bind” is done entirely by students, which means with the right training and support, anyone can do it. I hope that by seeing these productions they are inspired to try something new, if not in theater, then in some other avenue of their life,” Pearson said.
Truly, the theatre department of Western had a wonderful time preparing and performing “The Double Bind.” Top can’t wait until their next show!