By MacKenzie Brady
Student Life Editor
This semester, five seniors majoring in theatre will be producing their Senior Capstone Experiences. The four theses being produced this semester are “Small Mouth Sounds,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Foreigner,” and “I and You.”
“Small Mouth Sounds” is a directing thesis from Kelly Young and a stage management thesis from Jackie Dulaff. It will be showing in Tawes Theatre on Oct. 25 and 26.
“I chose to do ‘Small Mouth Sounds’ for my thesis because of the unique way this play explores silence onstage and the beautiful story of human connection in the face of suffering,” Young said.
“I knew I wanted to do a stage management thesis and it seemed silly to pick my own play and get a director on board and all that when there were already some amazing directors proposing theses last year,” Dulaff said.
After reading all proposed plays, Dulaff proposed stage managing for a few and in the end got “Small Mouth Sounds.”
“I have stage managed a few times at Washington College now but not for a play like this. There is almost no dialogue, which makes running a show very challenging. There are also elements of fire, partial nudity, sex, and a lot of props to manage. All of these things made ‘Small Mouth Sounds’ seem like an awesome challenge to tackle for my thesis,” she said.
Young explained what a directing thesis entails.
“Acting as both the director and producer, I am in charge of the artistic vision for the show as well as the logistics of how it all happens. I’ve never been at the helm of a project of this scale, which is both a terrifying and exciting experience,” she said.
“Stage managing is something I would love to pursue as a career after college, so it seemed like a really natural fit,” Dulaff said about why she chose a stage managing thesis.
Both Young and Dulaff have enjoyed working on their theses together so far.
“Jackie and I have had countless conversations about how we want to approach the show, and we’ve both brought unique ideas to the table that we’ve blended into a cohesive whole. We are both very passionate about this show, and it’s been amazing to have a teammate to lean on and celebrate with throughout this process,” Young said.
“As the stage manager, I am not in charge of any of the artistic decisions. I leave those solely up to Kelly’s imagination and she has wowed me every step of the way. I am so excited for everyone to see what we manage to get on stage,” Dulaff said.
“Pride and Prejudice” is a performance SCE from Abbey Kostecki. It will be showing in Decker Theatre on Nov. 1 and 2.
According to the department of theatre and dance’s webpage on the WC website, “This is not your grandmother’s Austen.”
“Bold, surprising, boisterous, and timely, this ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for a new era explores the absurdities and thrills of finding your perfect (or imperfect) match in life,” the website said.
A performance SCE requires a student to have a major role in the play as well as produce, but not direct, it.
Kostecki will be performing as the titular role of Lizzy.
“‘The Foreigner’” is a directing SCE from Megan Stagg. It will be showing in Decker Theatre on Nov. 8 and 9.
“I knew I wanted to direct a comedy, but in order for it to leave an impact on the audience it needed to have depth,” Stagg said. “The characters are multidimensional. I knew that I wanted to direct a play that had themes similar to lessons that I learned at WC. After taking time to reflect, I knew that I wanted the themes to include friendship and identity.”
“The Foreigner was actually the only play that I had read without stopping. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next and I hope the audience will be that way as well,” she said.
“After I graduate, I would like to become a theatre or music teacher and they are often responsible for directing the school play/musical. I want to have that experience before I leave WC. Additionally, I wanted to have the chance to be a leader,” Stagg said about why she chose a directing thesis.
“I and You” is a directing SCE from Hannah Sauer. It will be showing in Tawes Theatre on Nov. 15 and 16.
“I chose ‘I and You’ because I related greatly to the story,” Sauer said.
“The two characters in the play, Caroline and Anthony, are high school students who are trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. It is a story about vulnerability, self-acceptance, and love, and I knew that story very personally. I also feel that a lot of other students will be able to relate to and understand the characters and their journeys throughout the course of the play. I had to read this play for a class, and I consider myself very lucky for that. I read ‘I and You’ and I immediately had this strong gut feeling that I had to tell this story; I did not feel that way about any of the other plays that I read when preparing for my thesis proposal,” she said.
“I am so lucky and grateful because I have a really talented cast, design team, and stage management team alongside me,” Sauer said.
“I love this show so much and I am so fortunate to have found a group of people that feel just as passionately about it as I do. I think we are really going to make something special, and I cannot wait to get started,” she said.
The SCEs are not the only shows taking place this fall.
Profesor Brendon Fox will be kicking off the semester by directing the play, “Or,” which will be showing in Tawes Theatre on Oct. 3 through 5.
At the end of the semester, Professor A. T. Moffett will be directing “Dancescape 2019,” which will be showing in Decker Theatre on Nov. 22 and 23.