Students to stage seven on the seventh

Members of the Basics of Directing class will make their directing debuts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Felten/Start Theatre in Malloy Hall on the Fort Hays State University campus. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Anticipating the upcoming final projects, students spent the first half of the class meeting time on Monday, Nov. 28, finalizing plans for the order of their plays and costume changes.

Directing a play takes lots of work -- even if it is only 10-minutes long.

"They ran their own auditions and got to negotiate for the actors they wanted. They did all the prep work -- the part that the audience never sees," said Dr. Kim Miller, instructor of communication studies, who teaches the class. "The projects are a culmination of everything the students have learned throughout the semester."

Their selections are "a full range of style, from absurdist comedy to dark drama," Miller said. But each play has significance to its director.

"'Lunchtime' is just an awkward situation that reminds me of my everyday life," said Rebecca Jaquay, Salina senior.

Krystal Baugher, Greeley senior, chose "The Zoo Story" because "it's incredibly intriguing and makes you think."

"'One Tennis Shoe' is just a funny play that has an interesting spin," said Alicia Giersch, Hays senior.

Mario Lozoya, Cunningham senior, chose "Misreadings" because of its storyline.

"My audience can relate to 'Doubletake,'" said Tara Neitzel, St. Francis junior.

Krystle Krug, Russell junior, will also present her final project.

Scott Rader, a theatre program alumni, joins the class to make an uneven seven with a play he wrote himself.

The variety, however, may cause some parents to consider leaving younger children at home.

"People should come with an open mind because they are going to see a wide variety of plays in one evening," said Giersch.

"These are people at the beginning of this process," said Miller. "You don't know where they are going to end up. I'm really looking forward to seeing what this group of kids has done."

His classmates broke into discussion after Lozoya commented during Nov. 28's meeting time that the students' performances are better than "Survivor" so people should not have a problem skipping the show to watch the plays. They reminded him that the popular television show runs on Thursday nights, so fans could watch the next player get voted off the island and watch the seven productions on the seventh day of the month -- which is a Wednesday.

Conversation then turned to television's Wednesday night lineup. After several minutes of contemplative silence, the class concluded that since there is nothing good on television during that time anyway, people may as well show their support for the fine arts.

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