All of the Advanced Drama students along with many Drama underclassmen participated in the annual Senior Scenes on May 31 in which seniors directed, produced and wrote their own scenes.
The scenes in the event varied from musicals to plays. The number of students in each scene ranged from three people in a straight play scene, or a scene without music, to up to 20 people in a musical.
“The best aspect of senior scenes is that it provides the opportunity for students in Drama and Technical Theatre to create high-quality scenes, including musicals, entirely by themselves,” Drama Vice President Connor Tree said.
The straight scenes included “Drugs are Bad” directed by Allie Yamato and Julia LeVee, “Pictures and Punches” directed by Cara Christian and “Coffee” directed by Shelby Strickfaden. The musicals included, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”, directed by Claire Layden, “Dogfight”, directed by Daisy Hummer and Katie Cochran, “21 Chump Street”, directed by Connor Tree and “Avenue Q”, directed by Isabel Gray.
“Senior scenes really challenge the students to produce professional work without the direction of the teachers in the department, unlike the main stage shows or our benefit show,” Tree said.
The scenes are required for the Advanced Drama final exam, so all students in Advanced Drama were required to participate. Underclassmen in drama 1 and drama 2 were not required to participate, however many seniors cast underclassmen in their scenes.
“This event was really cool in that lots of underclassmen and juniors were given the opportunity to perform as a lead for the first time, which can give them more experience and help them grow as performers,” Drama Vice President-elect Ari Derambakhsh said.
In order to gain a role in a scene, students auditioned to be senior directors. The seniors then cast their peers based on what qualities they felt would best fit each role.
“My favorite part of the event was getting to work with and direct my peers,” Drama President Isabel Gray said. “It helped me gain a better understanding of what really goes into putting on a production.”
Students rehearsed independently for the scenes several times a week for about a month, as soon as the department’s spring musical ended.
“From the hours spent putting preparing for the event, the actors and crew developed a sense of connection that allowed them to produce great pieces.” Tree said. “They all deserve to be incredibly proud of their hard work.”