Acting student, direct thyself! Public shows coming up
By Matthew Casillas
Short scenes directed by and starring students of Harold Washington College ranged from somber to theatrical at the college’s “Director Showcase”.
The Theater Department puts on on three showcases each semester, this being the first, that show the work of the directing and acting classes. The first two showcases are directing showcases that students in the directing class put together using actors who they have chosen based on auditions that were held.
“Every scene that is being shown has been directed by a student in the directing class and all the actors are students who I believe are in or have been in acting classes here at Harold,” said Rachel Iannantuoni, the head of the theater department, in an introduction before the start of the showcase.
The directing showcase featured eight scenes from contemporary plays each with two student actors. The scenes that were performed were from the plays “Proof,” “Really, Really,” “Lobby Hero,” “The Normal Heart,” “TopDog UnderDog,” “The House of Ramon Iglesias,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and “Trojan Women.”
Each respective scene was well put together with sets created by the students. The scene from the play “Really, Really” had a set made to look like a college dorm with a desk, a couch, and a fridge that held real drinks for the actors to play off of.
In the absence of a Loop Players production this semester students were able to attend this showcase to find some theater entertainment. There was a fair turnout of students and faculty in the crowd to witness the work of the theater department.
“We’ve been working hard on these scenes, the directors and the actors, and it was really nice to show what we’ve been learning and working on to a nice crowd that seemed excited and enthusiastic about what they were seeing,” said Ashley-Marie Chavez, one of the student directors for the scene from the play “Proof.”
Most of the actors also had appropriate costumes for the characters they were portraying. The scene from “Lobby Hero” had one actor dressed as a security guard with a blue short-sleeve button up shirt and handcuffs on his belt. His partner, portraying the supervisor, dressed more formally with a white long-sleeve button up shirt and a tie; he also had handcuffs on his belt.
While each scene was different, ranging from serious to lighthearted and comical, they all performed well. Every scene was met with applause by the audience for both the student directors and actors.
The scene from “The House of Ramon Iglesias” showed two brothers arguing about their current living situation. The actors showed a brotherly connection when the scene escalated and together they built tension with the emotions they portrayed.
“Honestly the team work, the collaboration and learning from each other, since we are all students, it really helped us and we were able to motivate each other a lot,” said Ricardo Melendez, an Acting I student and one of the actors in the scene from “The House of Ramon Iglesias.”
The HWC Theater Department will hold two more showcases on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 that are free and open to the public.