Senior Project: Theatrical Directing
Jessica Blair Rogers
Product Approval Form
My product approval form states that my goal while doing this product was to direct a portion of a show so that I could take what I learned in my paper and apply it to a real life situation, which in my case is an actual production.
Auditions for "My Name is Buster" were held on September 4th in Mrs. Hale's room at Nash Central High School. Any student at NCHS was allowed to audition for the production. At auditions, each student was required to fill out a form and then do a cold reading for the audition panel which consisted of myself, Andrew Beal (another student director, we'd direct scenes 1, 2, 3, and 5 together while I did scene 4 on my own), and Joanna Hale (the drama club advisor).
This is an example of an audition sheet given to all of our people who auditioned. As you can see, it includes basic information about the person as well as their theatrical experience.
Our final cast list! It was such a tough choice, but we truly got the best cast that we could!
My group rehearsed every single week. We would always meet on Wednesdays from 2:45pm until 4:15pm. Every other week, we would also add in a Monday rehearsal from 2:45pm until 4:15pm.
Rehearsing a piece of the scene, Sarah Carmody (Stacie) and Asia Robinson (Mom) work on their stage presence, facial expressions, and blocking while Ethan Pardue (Adam) stays in character behind them.
I found through this project that I loved watching the scene from different parts of the room to see how all of the blocking would look in different places. Here I am watching from the stage on the house left of the action.
Sometimes, a director can just stand to the side and tell the actors what to do. But other times, an actor may need a director to step in and show them what to do. I did this often, just to make sure every member of my cast understood what I was trying to say.
Week 3: Characterization
On the 3rd week of rehearsals (while still waiting for a full script), I lead my cast in characterization exercises. This was a collection of physical and emotional plugs that I learned while studying in New York City. Before that week's rehearsal, the entire cast was required to complete a character outline based on who they thought they were. That Wednesday, we took who they thought their character was and combined it with other aspects of characterization to create the people they would soon portray.
Done by Ethan Pardue (Adam), this was one of the best character analyzations given to me. It clearly outlined the character, his setting, and his conflicts and drives. The picture only shows half of the assignment, his final paper was actually 4 pages long!
This was the list of character exercises that we did in order to stretch character. As shown, the exercises ranged from people ignoring someone while they spoke to being physically pulled down by a certain weight. It was abstract, but it helped the actors to understand their characters.
About 5 weeks after we cast the show, we finally got a full script from the playwright! This meant the cast could finally memorize their parts.
As performance time got closer, it was time to look at set, props, and costumes. Many emails like this one were sent out in an attempt to get everything we needed to perform our best.
The Final Product!
Scene 4, which I directed by myself for my senior project, was filmed on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013.
After the Project
The full version of "My Name is Buster" is set to premiere on Friday, November 1st, 2013 at Washington High School in Washington, NC. This production will be Nash Central High School's entry into the North Carolina Theatrical Conference for judging. It will also be performed at Nash Central's "Night of Drama" later this year.
This product of directing a show has shown me how difficult directing can be. My paper, entitled "Theatrical Directing Stylistics and Their Affects on Viewer Critique", helped me look at different approaches to directing. As a result, it helped me find my own approach to directing. As a performer, I hope this will help me in the future. I feel I can sympathize with directors more now, because this is not an easy job. This could also be helpful if I ever need to direct a production in my career, since this project has helped me do just that.