HSU Theatre Students Shine in Fall DirectFest 2018

December 12, 2018 Macee Hall, Staff Writer

HSU Theatre hosted its highly anticipated Fall DirectFest 2018 last weekend. DirectFest is an event that occurs once each semester, where students direct, produce, perform and design a festival of one-act plays. Enjoyed by students and community members, alike, DirectFest is a hit with audiences for its variety and heart.

“I loved DirectFest and watching all the different shows with different themes to them. Some comedic, some dramatic, some with a little bit of both. The front of house people were fantastic, the audience was great and responsive, and overall I had a great time. The directors really did an outstanding job with their task and shows!” says HSU student Ricky Ramirez about his experience at the Friday night show.

 This year’s series consisted of six short plays, entitled Angel at my Door, Odysseus Swims for It, Inside and Out, The Subtext of Texting, The Craft, and Dead Boy.

A siren from Odysseus Swims For It.
A siren from Odysseus Swims For It.

Directed by Bret Bondoc, Angel at My Door is a story of two individuals who meet by chance. Their encounter bridges the gaps between age, love, reality, and hope.

In Odysseus Swims for It, directed by Kali Mulcahy, two sirens debate whether to love or kill a Greek sailor who unconsciously washed up on their rock.

Mulcahy says, “This experience has been amazing! It has really helped me to find out the many trials of being a director, and my cast has been a huge help in making my show great. They have worked so hard, and I see their improvement and drive every time we rehearse. They deserve to have this show go smoothly, and I hope I can make that possible.”

Inside and Out is the story of a mother, her son, who falls on the autism spectrum, and the son’s personified mind. Directed by Kayla Copher, the show follows their struggle to communicate, where the mind clearly states what is trying to be said, but only the boy can hear it.

“We get to see the dynamic relationship and challenges between Jonah, the boy, and his mother, as well as what Jonah’s mind is thinking and feeling in real time but can’t communicate because of the disability. Jonah loves colors and music and numbers, and I’m really honing in on that. Sometimes words are hard, but colors, music and numbers are universal,” says Copher.

She continues, “I am so excited to share this show with our audience because it is a great reminder of the patience that love requires, especially towards someone who is different from us. I’m also hoping the audience walks away with a better understanding of autism and other mental disabilities.”

The Subtext of Texting, directed by Amy Arevalo, portrays a love triangle between two women and one man, who are caught in a sticky situation after their text messages to one another cause a miscommunication.

A group of students in Dead Boy.
A group of students in Dead Boy.

In The Craft, director Dakota Medlin illustrates the struggle of two actors who fail to connect during a live performance of their show. Although the show looks as though it is performed as usual, the audience is in for a surprise when they hear what the actors are thinking.

Directed by Domonique Gordon, Dead Boy is the story of three teenagers who, equipped with a few candles and an Ouija board, embark into one’s grandmother’s basement to ask the Dead Boy’s spirit some questions. They quickly discover that there are consequences to engaging with spirits from the past.

“Directing this show has been an amazing process! It has been challenging in some ways, but overall the experience is so worth it, and you make connections with the people that you work so intimately with,” says Gordon. “I’m so crazy proud of my cast! Because of their amazing talent and work ethic, this process will definitely be one that I treasure forever.”