One Acts Preview
In recent years, Hopkins drama has seen tremendous growth in the realm of student directing. This year the Hopkins Drama Association (HDA) has taken this trend one step farther with a set of completely student-directed One-Acts. Director Mike Calderone explained: “Student Directing is the next logical step in exposing our student body to the artistic and leadership opportunities in the theater.”
This year’s One-Acts, titled An Evening of Shel Silverstein, showcase student talent both on and offstage. Student director selected pieces that they would like to direct, attended auditions and then cast their scenes. Directors are responsible for all costumes, scenery, music, and props for their scenes, as well as organizing rehearsals for their cast.
Many of the student directors are Hopkins actors, trying their hand at another aspect of theater, and the audition process has been eye-opening from the other side. Georgia Doolittle ’18 said, “[Student Directing] has helped me understand the casting process a little bit more. Watching the auditions really helped me understand what makes an audition “successful” and that is information that I will keep with me for the rest of my time at HDA.”
Director Leigh Melillo ’18 said, “[In auditions] we got to see a lot of people act who don’t usually, and it was interesting to see how di"erent people took the same scene in so many different directions. Especially some actors took a very comedic route and I feel like a lot of the directors were able to give them some very interesting stage directions that made them have to think a lot.”
The audition process was also very different for the auditioners. Kieran Anderson ’18 said: “I actually liked auditioning for all twelve directors because that way they could all see you and all had direct access to what you were doing.”
The directors were tasked with juggling very different schedules when casting their scenes. This made the casting process more difficult because availability was a factor. Student director Meghan Podolsky ’16 elaborated: “I think the hardest part was the negotiating afterwards—as much as we want to cast everyone who auditions, every director has a di"erent schedule and different roles. It’s rewarding in the end, though, because we all ended up with fantastic casts!”
HDA head, Lisanne de Groot ’16, said, “This is my first time directing anything and I’m so excited to finally get into this area of theatre. Directing a one-act is an incredible experience because it’s all students and it’s really inclusive. Everybody respects each other and that why casting went so well. It’s so incredible that Hopkins has these opportunities for people to be involved in all aspects of theatre.” As the directors are learning, a lot of work goes into preparing their actors for the stage. Director Holden Turner ’17 said, “There are all these preconceptions and ideas that you have to work with but ultimately it all comes down to who you’ve got, your script and your imagination.”
The One-Acts are an opportunity for seasoned actors and varsity athletes to come together to work on a theatrical production. However, they are also very casual, which affords the opportunity for experimentation. Directors are provided with the unique opportunity to nurture a cast from audition to performance. Through the process, actors will also learn to work under less experienced direction. The directors and actors are working very hard to make this inaugural production a hit!