Hello everyone! My name is Jillian, and I am a sophomore at Muhlenberg. I’ll be blogging about the Red Door Play Festival this semester; the Red Door Play Festival happens every semester, and is made up of about ten shows that are under an hour long and are completely run by students. So, the students direct, perform in, and stage manage all of the shows. All of these shows take place in the Red Door Cafe, which is small, intimate, and resembles a coffeehouse or dinner theatre type of space. Last year, I performed in three Red Door Plays, including a student written musical. This semester, I’m trying something new – directing! I’ve never directed anything other than children’s musicals before, so this is definitely going to be an adventure.
The first step of the process was picking my show, and I chose a show that I was very familiar with. It is called Connections, and was written by Jane Martin. I chose this show because it has a minimal set and not many lighting cues, which will work well in the space provided, and because it has a small cast, which will provide a close-knit rehearsal environment.
After choosing the show and having it approved by the festival coordinator, we held auditions. All of the shows audition together, and after the auditioners finish their prepared monologues, they can be asked to read sides or do other things related to the shows. So many talented performers came out, so casting was really hard! My cast is made up of two other sophomores named Lydia and Phil, and my stage manager is my friend Megan.
We are now in the beginning of the rehearsal process for Connections, and it is going very well! The show is about fifteen minutes long, and deals with very dark subject matter. Our small cast and crew have been working efficiently, and we just finished roughly blocking the show. Going forward, we will be able to explore new character choices and ideas, now that the groundwork has been completed. I cannot wait to keep working, and to post some pictures from rehearsal!