Running the Show: Studio One Acts student directors elaborate on creative liberties while producing show


Veronica Teeter

DIRECTOR’S CUT: (RIGHT) Delaney Kibler, Studio One Acts student director and senior, reads through a script during rehearsal after school. Kibler said her role as a director is to cast actors, create props and costumes and to design the set for each one-act show.

Bianca Templeton

*Note: the HiLite apologizes for a mistake in the print issue: all of the one-act plays will be performed each night, not a different one each night.

Students involved in Studio One Acts are in the process of rehearsing four separate one-act plays to perform on Oct. 5, 6 and 7. Students will perform all four one-acts each night. The plays are “The Rental” by Mark Harvey Levine, “The Last Hat” by Kyle John Schmidt, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Jonathan Rand and “May the Best Fan Win” by Jonathan Rand. All performances will be in the Studio Theater.

From casting, acting and costume-designing, Studio One Acts gives four seniors the opportunity to direct and produce a one-act show. Piper Williams, Studio One Acts student director and senior, directs “The Rental.”

Williams said directors like her pick a short 10 to 15 minute one-act show and they do everything directors do in a play.

“We cast it, do the set design, (make) the props, (design) the costumes,” she said. “There are four one-acts that are presented. They’re all funny, comedy shows.”

Veronica Teeter
(ABOVE) Piper Williams, Studio One Acts student director and senior, discusses the show, “The Rental,” with two student actors. Williams said, “Theatre is always going to be a part of my life, so I’d like to direct a smaller community theatre for sure.” Studio One Acts will present four separate plays starting on Oct. 5 in the Studio Theater.

Theatre Arts director Jim Peterson said via email, “There is a lot of creative freedom in this production. We also have some constraints that we need to adhere to so (the students’) creativity is challenged.” In addition to this liberty given to student directors, Peterson added, there is always another factor they need to consider.

“There’s also the responsibility of producing something for a paying audience.” Peterson said. He said he is available as a resource and observer. “When directors have questions or seek advice,” he said. “I’m there to offer support and guidance. I’m also there to remind students of all of the different aspects that go into producing a show.”

Delaney Kibler, Studio One Acts student director and senior, said she interested in pursuing directing in the future. “(Directing has been) a passion of mine that I have been doing for the past two years,” she said via email. “I have been involved in theater for the past six. I enjoy every aspect of directing and it is definitely something that I’m going to pursue to my fullest capabilities.”

“In the past I have assistant directed many shows,” Kibler added, “but I have not had the chance to solely direct my own show. Being a director for the one-acts allows me to see what my job in the future will be like start to finish without having the help of a teacher. Our theatre teachers have helped us here and there with any questions we might have, but for the most part we are doing it by ourselves.”

Kibler said in her show they start with a read-through and then build on characters. “I read a novel over the summer about acting and how to build a character and I made those tips into a worksheet that I read to my cast and we worked through our characters together,” she said. “After everybody had a good character, we began to block everything. Throughout the process of blocking there were a lot of questions about the character choices, as it was a confusing  show with a lot of complex characters, but we just work through those questions together and we came up with good conclusions on the characters.”

With Studio One Acts, Williams said, “It’s a lot of fun, I’ve helped direct before, but I’ve never had the liberty to do whatever I want… I definitely have gotten help from the people in my cast and we collaborate together, and we come up with ideas that will make the show the best it can be.”

Olivia Childress