Senior Drama Students Cast Capstone Productions

By Nicole Noce

Elm Staff Writer

From Thursday, Aug. 30 through Saturday, Sept. 1, Tawes Theatre was the place to be for anyone interested in auditioning to perform in one of this semester’s senior directing theses.

No preparation or prior acting experience was needed to participate in what is officially known on the Washington College campus as Drama Draft. Due to the high interest levels in this semester’s auditions, additional time slots were made available to those interested in auditioning for any of this semester’s productions.

Michele Volansky, the chair and associate professor of the department of theatre and dance, said that typically during Drama Draft, only the directors from each production watch the auditions. Due to scheduling and workloads, there is a two production per semester limit for students.

The three senior directing theses being produced this semester are “These Shining Lives,” “Loot,” and “The Dining Room.” All three performances will be held in Tawes Theatre in Gibson Center for the Arts.

According to the WC department of theatre and dance webpage, ‘These Shining Lives’ “chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance.” A thesis by Rachel Treglia, “These Shining Lives” will be performed on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

Senior Colin Higgins chose “Loot” for his  thesis, which he describes as “a dark comedy about two best friends who rob a bank and are trying to hide the money from a snooping father, nurse, and corrupt police officer.”

“[Student directed shows are] actually something very hard to find in most theaterprograms and it is an amazing opportunity that I could not pass up,” he said.

Higgins said being able to approach Drama Draft from the directing viewpoint this semester is a truly humbling experience. “Loot” will be performed on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.

Senior Katie Peacock described “The Dining Room” as a play that gives a glimpse into the lives of several American families throughout the 20th Century as they sit around a dining room table. In the play, these families that closely resemble high society White Anglo-Saxon Protestants are confronted with many issues as reality and society come crashing into their perfect world.

Peacock discussed the inspiration behind her decision to use the play for her senior directing thesis.

“I knew I wanted to tackle the ideas of family and privilege,” she said. Having read the play in middle school, she said she remembered how much she enjoyed its pace and witty dialogue.

Peacock said she finds going into Drama Draft from the directing viewpoint to be both exciting and nerve-wracking. “The Dining Room” will be performed Nov. 16th and Nov. 17.

Before the three theses hit the stage, a production of “Dreaming Brave and True,” directed by Director of Gibson Center for the Arts Dale Daigle, will also be performed in Tawes Theatre.

The play is written by Stephen Spotswood, Class of 1999, and is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that revolves around the lives of seven high school students.

Mr. Spotswood will be in attendance for the Sunday rehearsals. Auditions for this production occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 29 before Drama Draft began. “Dreaming Brave and True” will be performed on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 in Tawes.

Tickets for these performances will become available on Eventbrite as the performance dates approach.

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