Summer shows premiere June 6
IRVING, Texas- Presenting theatre with a twist, North Lake College students are directing four short plays Wednesday, June 6 through Saturday, June 9. Free and sure to entertain, the student-directed plays will be shown in the Performance Hall at 8 p.m. nightly.
Leading from the back seat is Drama Program Head Alice Butler who believes this experience will grow her students more than any lecture or textbook. “I didn’t know anything as an actor until I directed, which was in graduate school,” says Butler. “That is too late!” Butler relies on the Francis Hodges technique, or ‘Hodge Prep,’ to prepare her aspiring directors. “This is script analysis that every actor needs to learn. It’s very tedious, but it’s worth it. They learn so much.”
Next week’s student-directed plays include two classics and two modern pieces. Student-directors Sri Chilukuri and Ethan Redding decided to take on a classic. Learning as he goes, Chilukuri believes directing has already made him a better actor. “Not only do you have to do everything an actor does, but you have to be able to communicate it,” notes Chilukuri. “Every decision that’s made: set, lights, sound- is a decision that I make. It’s a lot of work.” In Butler’s class, students discover how to make these decisions through multiple read-throughs, character analysis and sometimes plain-old gut feeling. “Being a director is just like being a leader,” explains Chilukuri, “Your cast has to trust you…and that respect has to be earned.”
Joining Chilukuri and Redding are three other pairs of student-directors; including drama students Cynthia Benne and Stephanie Laranjeira whose first class at North Lake was performing in one-act plays. Now, as student-directors, the duo believes they’ve come full circle. “I’ve done four plays here and learned communication is important for both the actors and the director,” says Laranjeira of her experience. Benne agrees, noting, “Actors are going to come with their own perspective of the character and you have to lead them. As the director you know the answers, but you have to lead them to those answers.”
While these student-directors experience learning that is meaningful, relevant and effective, audience goers will enjoy fun, likeable characters, period costuming and some over-the-top comedic moments. “They can expect to laugh, I hope,” chuckles Benne. “And to see something different,” adds Chilukuri. “The modern dramas are most likely what you’d see on TV. This is totally different!”
The North Lake College Performance Hall is located in the P building of Central Campus at 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd.
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North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College District. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College District without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or gender expression.