By Mattie Kropf
Students get the opportunity to direct their own productions and look at death in a different light on April 14 to the 16 at Spectrum Theatre.
Through the Student Directed One Acts three students have been given the chance to get a sense of what it is like to direct an on stage production through the directing class with Professor Thomas Kaechele.
“They are all dark comedies that have somewhat of a connection back to the same theme,” Ken Johnson said, one of the three student directors, during an interview at the Spectrum Theatre.
Johnson’s play, having the largest cast of all with a total of five roles, examines the fear behind death while Sarah Vesley’s production examines the coping of death by only using two roles, a father-daughter relationship.
Carl Bolthouse, the third student, directs a production that looks at the shock of death. His cast consists of only an engaged couple and an item under a blanket.
He described the production as being “a combination of circus and surreal.”
“(The best part is) being able to mold how things are going to come together. It’s a very stressful but also a very rewarding process being able to see step by step as things finally come together,” he said.
Of the seven actors involved in the productions, it is Johnson’s female lead, Kayla Denton’s, first on stage performance.
“She is completely new to the theatre program and is doing a miraculous job with that,” Johnson said. “She has been able to connect very well.”
The other six actors include a fellow student in the theatre class, Collin Roys, Melissa Charron, Jonathon DelaVega, Kendra Jones, Matthew Peterson and Leah Rogers.
The performances are set to take place in the rehearsal rooms, located on the second floor of the Spectrum Theatre, rather than on the main stage. This limits the space the actors and directors have to work with by a considerable amount.
“As much as space can be a benefit to you, productions can be collapsed under too much space,” Johnson said.
Admission to the One Acts is free. More information can be found by calling Spectrum Theatre at (616) 234-3946.