Actors fill director’s chairs

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February 20, 2018 - 12:00 AM

Directing a play requires a delicate balance between guiding an actor toward your vision and allowing them to develop their own characters. That’s how student directors at Allen Community College describe the challenges they’ve faced as they stepped out of the roles of actors and into director’s chairs.
Four ACC sophomores will direct four one-act plays over three nights at 7:30 p.m. March 1-3 at the Allen College Theatre.
“It’s been challenging for me to know when to step in and when to reel back and let (the actors) do their own thing,” student director Judd Wiltse, of Iola, said.
Director Chloe Bedell, of Yates Center, said she’s faced the same challenges. “That’s going to be the biggest thing for me to learn from this. You can’t play every character. I have to let them make it amazing in their own way.”
Kate Terhune, of Iola, has some experience directing musicals for Iola High School and community theater. She described the “physicality” of the performance as her biggest challenge. “It’s a process of trial and error, seeing what will work and seeing it from all angles of the audience.”
Terhune also relied on advice from her mother, who has directing experience: “Every movement should look like a picture.”
The four one-act plays are:

“Love and Light” – Directed by Chloe Bedell
In “Love and Light,” a widow seeks a psychic to help her speak to her dead husband, in hopes of learning where to find a hidden stash of money.
“They kind of argue through the psychic and it’s cute,” Bedell said. “I wanted a piece I connected to emotionally, but also something where I could imagine our actors in the roles. I didn’t want to force people into roles they weren’t comfortable with.”
When asked why people might want to see her play, Bedell said, “Who wouldn’t want to come see my actors? They’re phenomenal!”

“Pancakes” – Directed by Judd Wiltse
Wiltse was careful not to give too much information about his play for fear of revealing spoilers. The plot can be summarized as two very different roommates who have a dispute over pancakes.
Wiltse performed an excerpt from “Pancakes” at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, a national contest. He was even more impressed when he had a chance to read the full one-act.

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