Freshman Kate Donoghue will be debuting her first show in Studio Theatre this weekend, Doug Wright’s “The Stonewater Rapture.” In the past, her focus in theater has been on acting, so the challenges of directing have been a new experience for her.
“It’s really interesting to try it from the other side of the stage,” said Donoghue. She says directing has given her the opportunity to further explore theater as an art form. The show she chose to direct is about two Texas high school students during the fall semester of their freshman year who find themselves displaced from their traditional, religious community. As they begin to face new and different realities outside their comfort zone, the two must figure out how to cope with the world around them. Initially, instead of facing their issues, the two decide to mentally reinvent their situation.
“They create these false realities for themselves,” said Donoghue. “To them, what they are doing is perfectly logical. To them, what they are doing to empower themselves is a choice.”
As the show continues, the characters are bullied and treated poorly by other townspeople. The central question of the show is whether or not the two can continue constructing their own world or if they will have to confront reality. She said the show is open to interpretation.
“I would want the audience to take away how resilient people can be,” said Donoghue.
She selected this particular script for her debut as a director because she thought it was well written and she was interested in the themes it explored. The show, said Donoghue, explores a deeply religious culture and shows the darker side of that lifestyle.
She picked out the script before winter break and cast the show only weeks ago. Though the cast has only been working together for three weeks, Donoghue said they are ready for the show.
“We’re exactly in the place we want to be,” said Donoghue. “The actors were perfect right off the bat.”
Donoghue said as director she has been guiding the actors in honing their roles on stage. Since this is her first show, it will be performed on a bare stage without any other theatrical devices.
“What I have to work with is the actors,” said Donoghue. “I have a solid show that isn’t merely a spectacle.”
Donoghue’s production also coincides with a show directed by junior Sam Newport. After the show, there will be a question and answer session with the audience regarding the shows’ issues, sponsored by SASS.