The annual Directors Festival from TRU’s Actors Workshop Theatre will give six senior students a chance to try their hand at directing. The festival will be comprised of a variety of original scripts and adaptations with a twist.
Martina Doucet is one of the six student directors in the festival. She’ll showcase her play during Night B of the festival.
“I’m directing Dead Boy by Craig Wright, and it’s a play that hasn’t really been done at TRU for a Directors Festival before. It’s a little on the scary side. It takes place when three teenagers decide to go into a storage room in Ben’s old house and play with a Ouija board,” Doucet said.
Doucet says that having the opportunity to direct this play has been a lot of fun, but it not without its challenges.
“The main challenge is getting my actors up to the emotional point of where the actors have to be. Generally, in the theatre program, you’re not doing something where you’re scared, where you’re in utter terror, or where you just want to get out of there and have no escape,” Doucet said.
She adds that this horror-filled play will be completely uncharted territory for a lot of audience members.
“It’s different. You’ve never seen anything done like this in Kamloops,” Doucet said.
Doucet is a triple major in sociology, psychology and theatre, and says her goal after graduating is to find a career in forensic sociology. She adds that although theatre isn’t a career for her, it will always be in her life.
“I’ve always done theatre since I was four years old. It’s always been in me. It’s something I’ll always do. Even though I’ll be doing forensic sociology, I’ll still come back to the theatre in some aspect,” Doucet said.
Stephanie Morrison is another of the six student directors in the festival. She’ll showcase her work on Night A of the festival.
“My play is called A Bench at the Edge by Luigi Jannuzzi, and it’s about two people on the edge of the abyss between life and death, discussing suicide,” Morrison said.
The morbid comedy explores aspects of everyday life, mixing humour and terror. The short play deals with serious issues that remain relevant in society.
“I picked it because it’s really surreal and it doesn’t take suicide in an overly dramatic manner. It talks about it in a normal way that most people can understand,” Morrison said.
Morrison says one of her main challenges while directing this play was getting her actors in the right mindset for the role. However, she adds that this was an easily surpassed obstacle because of her two amazing actors.
“I think one of the best things is just to work with the actors and to experience different acting styles and different ways of teaching acting. It’s been really rewarding to direct the two actors that I have. It’s a really great give-and-take learning experience,” said Morrison.
After graduation, Morrison plans to pursue theatre and do auditions whenever she can.
“It’s rewarding to come see the shows even if you’re not too into theatre. It’s never too late to start, and come watch some shows because you’re always going to leave thinking something new,” Morrison said.
Night A of the festival will take place on April 10, 12 and 14. Night B will take place on April 11, 13 and 15 at the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $14 each for one night, $20 each for both nights, and there will be three shows per evening.