Trojan directors say action to student plays

Sasha Numazu-Fisher , Opinions and Blogs Editor

     MHS is known to be a school that offers many opportunities for their students through different clubs and extracurricular programs that are available. Play Production, an accredited after school class, allows interested students to explore their passion for the arts including: costume design, acting, set building and directing. This semester, Seniors Jonathan Chow, Devin Garcia and Dylan Nakashima took on the challenge of directing a 10 minute play as a way to further develop their skills and gain directing experience. 

     “It’s not graded or anything, it’s really an opportunity to learn more about directing. We wanted to test our skills and see how well we could do as a director. We couldn’t create our own play per se, but we were able to choose to do this project,” said Nakashima.  

     The project itself was only open to interested seniors that wanted the opportunity to work in directing. Each student had three possible plays that they could choose from: “Hole,” “La Mouche” and “Mime in a Box.” “So all of the plays are actually given to us and I was the last pick, but I love my play so much. I also did make a lot of adjustments since my play was a little weird,” said Chow.

    Chow’s play, which is called “Hole,” focuses on a group of miners who are isolated underneath 700 feet of rubble. Although he had chosen his play last, Chow had originally wanted to direct it as he was was intrigued by the concept from the beginning. “I’m looking forward to performing a show that will hopefully really open people’s minds up and I’m also excited to work with the cast,” said Chow.

     When directing, there are many elements to take into consideration such as casting, sound, light and tech. Each of these components are necessary in order to run a successful play. “Some struggles that I’ve dealt with is actually having my actors use their body flow, which means they need to get comfortable in the scene and not be so stiff. I also expect maybe just a couple of tech problems but it’s quite an easy show tech wise,” said Garcia. 

     Garcia’s play is called “Mime in a Box,” and it takes a comical approach as it focuses on two people who are teasing a mime.  Garcia chose to work on this show due to the unique humor that the play had. “I’m looking forward to putting together a crazy play, to make it really good between all different sorts of elements such as with sounds or lights,” said Garcia. 

     The three seniors have each been a part of Play Production for over a year now. Through programs such as this one, students are allowed the opportunity to gain exposure to different shows and productions that are put on by the school. “I have not directed before but I was in ‘Almost Maine’ and ‘Twelve Angry Men’ and in those two, I had played as characters. I also helped set build for ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Almost Maine,’ ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ ‘Rent,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and now ‘Once on this Island,’” said Nakashima. 

     The current play that Nakashima is directing is called “La Mouche”; a comedic play that centers around a customer’s soup having a fly in it. Nakashima chose to direct this play amongst the other choices since he completely fell in love with its humor. “I am looking forward to everyone enjoying the play, my cast having fun and my audience laughing during the experience,” said Nakashima

     The directors themselves all have a deep appreciation for Play Production. The program not only provided a basis of theatrical knowledge for them, but it also helped the students create long lasting friendships. “This is my second year in Play Production — the community and people around it has always drawn me in. Play Production is sort of a niche hobby so to have the opportunity to find people who are like you and to be able to join your own community feels very reassuring” said Chow. 

     After high school, the seniors hope to continue to work within the realm of directing or acting in college. They anticipate that this play will be the first of many more directing opportunities to come. “One day, I would want to pursue voice acting or directing. Even acting and being a part of shows would also be fun too,” said Nakashima.

     The student plays will be shown on Nov. 1 at the school cafeteria. The show times have yet to be announced.