Arts & Culture / Mosaic / Theater / April 16, 2008

Bare stage, bare impulse

Both realistic and dark scenes will be performed this weekend as a double feature in the studio theater. On Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 freshmen Kelsey Ingle and Willi Goehring are directing the scenes on a bare stage. This is their first time directing but they both have had a lot of acting experience.

“I feel like I’m more guiding in my directing,” said Ingle. “I’m kind of coming into my own as a director.”

Ingle’s scenes are from Hedda Gabler and Goehring’s from The Lost Prince of Paradise. Ingle cast multiple people in the role of Hedda Gabler. Ingle described the character of Hedda as being “creepy, but in the best possible way.”

“It’s really different for me as a director to work with the different characters,” said Ingle. “What we come up with is just as much [the actors’ input] as it is me.”

In directing, Goehring uses what he knows of acting theory to integrate the play’s message, beliefs, and ideology into the process rather than just telling people where to go and what to do.

Auditions were held at the beginning of spring term and there were two weeks of rehearsal before technical week, which is the week before the show.

“Coming into it, I knew what I wanted to do, but I really knew what I didn’t want to do,” said Ingle. “You really have to trust the actors to do their work. Giving up that control is hard to do.”

Goehring said his play is about “a sexually disenfranchised nerd coming on to a razor sharp massage therapist.” He found the play in the theater library and wanted the challenge of working with a short script he could mold to his purposes. He also chose people without college acting experience to be a part of his show.

“If someone were to say the play is sexist, they would be right,” said Goehring. “What the script doesn’t say, which you would want to get through in the directorial process, is the changing male sex/gender role in a post feminist society.”

Goehring’s play is 15 minutes long and he said that his overall experience of directing has been a spectrum of emotions from horrifying to elating.

“This is iffy material, that’s why I want to do it,” said Goehring. “If it offends or shocks you then it begins a conversation, but it should be known that the intention is not to shock or offend, it is to get across a deeper message.”

There are two scenes in Ingle’s performance, one in which Hedda tries to get information from a friend about a boy she is interested in and another when the boy confronts her. Despite the tight rehearsing schedule, Ingle said she is happy with the way her show has come together.

“Willi’s play and my play really have nothing in common,” said Ingle. “You’re definitely going to get a variety of dramatic experiences.”

Laura Miller

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