When Hanford High's drama department presents its annual One Act Festival, starting May 14, the tables will be turned.
Five seniors, normally on stage being told what to do, will be calling the shots this time.
"It's been a challenge transitioning from acting to directing," said senior Kyle Schlahta. "I mean, I've done both technical theater as well as acting, but being the bridge between the two has been quite a task. I have had trouble finding time to get everything done, but it's coming along well."
Schlahta is directing one of the five acts for Life, Death ... An Evening of One Act Plays. Seniors Tenesha Shelby, Holly Steach and Jessica Myers also are taking a turn at directing.
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The featured one-acts are: Feiffer's People, a sketch on American life; Variations on the Death of Trotsky, a look at the possible ways Trotsky met his end; The Game, an allegory of love and life; Act Three, Scene Five, a story about students rehearsing Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet; and 15 Reasons Not To Be in a Play.
Jessica Myers' first job in theater was in the eighth grade as stage manager for Oliver. Stage managing is what she loves most in theater.
"I get to see all the acting, singing, and dancing come together," she said. "I maintain the most responsibility with making sure everything runs smoothly. ... But I feel like I'm well-prepared because I come from a mostly technical background."
However, making a show come together is more than just the actors doing their parts on stage, she said. "I know what I want and I have a vision of how I want things to look, but it's easier to see it in my head than to convey it to the actors with words," Myers said.
Schlahta has a similar view of the challenges of directing, especially when it comes to taking charge of his peers. "To get my cast to see the difference between Kyle the guy in (their) lit class and Kyle (their) director instead of (their) peer and friend, has been another difficulty," Schlahta said. "It has also been hard to be their superior instead of their equal, finding common ground with them outside of rehearsal is pretty hard."
Curtain time for the festival is 7:30 p.m. May 14-16 in the Black Box Theater at Hanford High, 450 Hanford St., Richland. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door.
w Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org