Seniors write, direct productions

Seniors reflect on their Student Production experience.


Senior Katie Donaldson watches her cast members rehearse in the auditorium April 21. The name of her production, which she directed with seniors Isabella Meisel and Josie Buford, was “Moments.” photo by Maddy Medina

story by MaryMichael Hough

The STA theatre department hosted the Student Productions April 22-23. This year, four one act plays were written, casted and directed by seniors for the annual traditional.

Senior Sarah Wunder recalls that the first time she went to student productions was when she was in fifth grade.

“I remember that they were all really funny and captivating, and I decided I would write one of my own,” Wunder said.

Senior Grace Girardeau also experienced Student Productions firsthand at a young age when her sisters wrote and acted in them.

“I would get so excited when I went to see the shows or when their cast would rehearse at my house,” Girardeau said. “I had just always planned on it, and I’m so glad that [senior] Meredith [Mulhern] and I could do it together.”

Wunder and senior Sophie Mandacina wrote and directed “It’s Getting Ham#lit,” which combines the Shakespearean plays Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet as romantic interests stray from tradition. According to Wunder, she came up with the idea last semester while on a walk with a friend.

“Kind of out of nowhere she asked what would happen if Hamlet met Romeo and Juliet, and it just spiraled from there,” Wunder said.

photos by Maddy Medina

[nggallery id=1239]

According to Girardeau, whose production followed an unlikely group of married couples working to strengthen their marriages by attending a couple’s retreat, her and senior Meredith Mulhern wanted to showcase many different characters equally.

“We thought that putting them in a stressful situation would be the funniest way to [showcase them],” Girardeau said. “We changed some details after we spent our spring break in Costa Rica to make it more personal.”

Wunder thinks that if she were to redo her Student Production she would schedule more rehearsals and make time for bonding among cast members.

“It would have been really nice to just hang out and get to know the girls better without worrying about who has their lines memorized and if we should rewrite some of the dialogue,” Wunder said.

Girardeau advises those interested in writing a Student Production in years to come to avoid sticking to a strict vision.

“It’s way more fun to let your actors help you write the show and to be open to changes and suggestions,” Girardeau said.

According to Wunder participating in Student Productions is  a “truly rewarding experience” and a “nice way to finish out your career at STA.”

“Just write a script that you really love, because you won’t get tired of working with it and your cast will appreciate that you’re invested in the production and work to make it great, because it’s their production too,” Wunder said. “Also, having a great co-write and director never hurts, because it is a lot to take on. But it is a really great experience with a really wonderful community.”