Five students explore their passions at the AWT

The 20th annual Director’s Festival showcases the work of five directing students

Megan Polacik plays Angela (left), Aaron Foster plays St. Francis (centre), Jakob Kopytko plays Mike (right). (Submitted)

Next week, starting April 10, many students of the theatre department at TRU will showcase their directorial, acting and technical skills. For many of the directing students, this marks the beginning of their next journey after exploring aspects of their education in theatre.

The first of the directing students is Zack Fernstrom. After Director’s Festival, Zack will hopefully be attending TRU once again as a Bachelor of Education student.

“It signifies the end of an era,” Fernstrom said of the Director’s Festival. “It’s very special that way.”

Fernstrom’s show is called Throws of Love by Amy Staats, which follows the story of three thirteen-year-old girls who go out with the intention of TP’ing the house of a boy they like. Unexpectedly, his mother comes out and she’s a little bit drunk, which is when the hilarity ensues.

“It’s funny but in a very human kind of way,” Fernstrom said. “It’s about all woman and I’m not a woman, so it was kind of a challenge to tackle that.”

Grayson Norsworthy, a theatre student at TRU, also hopes to become an educator in the future. Once this semester ends, Norsworthy said that he’s “moving forward with his arts minor,” as he needs to complete it to graduate.

Norsworthy’s show is titled A Roz by Any Other Name by Brett Ryback. This story is based on what happens to Rosalind, or “Roz,” after her boyfriend Romeo leaves with Juliet at the end of the ball in Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare.

“I thought this piece really kind of brought modern dramatic comedy and Shakespeare together in a really nice way,” Norsworthy said on why he chose the show.

Kalika, the only woman in the directing class, chose a dramatic play in comparison to her classmates’ comedic ones. Realer Than That by Kitt Lavoie follows the story of two high school sweethearts when they go to a motel room to “hook up” after a friend’s wedding, but very quickly things go awry.

“It’s an important play. It shows two different perspectives of [rape culture],” Kalika said. “It’s just very honest. Hopefully, it will spark dialogue about the issue itself.”

After this semester, Kalika will be beginning her second degree at TRU as a social work student.

Brendan Law, an aspiring actor and excited director, hopes to travel to Vancouver after finishing to gain more acting experience there.

Law is excited to have people see his show St. Francis Preaches to the Birds by David Ives. The show follows St. Francis and how his new injury causes him to have an existentialist conversation with some vultures in the desert. Law said this show is “very wacky and weird and funny and it’s very me.”

“It’s just a show that spoke to me instantly when I read it,” he added.

The last director in the class is Caleb Mpyet, another student who has gone through the theatre program. Mpyet’s show is titled I’m Not Stupid by David Rodrigues. This One-Act play follows the lives of Roger and his mother, Mrs. Fletcher, who visit Dr. Green, a psychiatrist, to talk about Mr. Fletcher’s death. Drama ensues when Mrs. Fletcher thinks her mentally disabled son is at fault for her husband’s death and Dr. Green decides to make a home visit.

These shows premiere at the Actors Workshop Theatre in Old Main on Wednesday, April 10 and will run until Saturday, April 13. Tickets are available at the AWT Box Office in Old Main, in person or by phone (250-377-6100) or can be bought online at www.brownpapertickets.com.