UA directing class prepares for debut

By: Diana Perez

UA theater students taking the Directing I class, taught by James Slowiak, are putting their directing skills to the test as they prepare for their directorial debut. As a final project, the students were to select a scene from a play to direct.

The Directing I class not only help students develop directing skills, but also helps them become more organized, enhance their communication skills with their cast members and create their vision on stage.

“I’m learning patience, how to remain on one side of the fence, to hold back and not to be too bossy, but later I’ll have to bring it up,” said student director Rosilyn Jentner. “I’d like to perform on stage on Broadway or New York. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but that’s the ideal goal. I’ll be a star!”

Jentner, who is 21 years old, has been a UA student for three years now. Though her long term goal is to have a family, first she plans to get her name out, whether it’s on stage or backstage.

“I want to start auditioning for the Cleveland Playhouse and get my name out in the Akron area,” Jentner said.

For now, Jentner wants to concentrate on school. Her class assignment to direct a scene from “Beyond Therapy” by Christopher Durang. The scene in the play she is directing is about two characters, Bruce and Prudence ,who meet in therapy. Bruce, bisexual, is in an important relationship with Bob, but is dating women at the same time. Prudence is emotionally reserved, but had a fling with her therapist twice.

“‘Beyond Therapy’ is about people trying to find someone who has baggage that complements their baggage,” Jentner said.

Bobby Round, 23 years old, is a UA student studying Theater who will be graduating in the spring. Round wants to further his acting skills by getting an MFA in acting.

For now, Round’s focus is graduating college. The scene he will direct for his project is from “Bent” by Martin Sherman, which takes place in World War II.

“Max is the free-spirited type,” Round said of his one of his characters. “He’s on the run. He grew up with money, but now lives in the woods with his partner Rudy. He’s kind of spoiled. Max was a drug dealer; he dealt cocaine, but can’t do it anymore. Rudy was a dancer, he performed all the time. “Two gay guys living in the woods, they’re not allowed to do what they love to do. The theme is about the importance of people to be themselves.”

Allison Good, 23, is a UA student studying English with a minor in Theater. She will be graduating this December. After graduation, Good wants to teach at a college level.

Good is directing a scene from “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer, which is about the lives of Mozart and Antonio Salieri, especially the events leading to Mozart’s death.

“Salieri is jealous of Mozart and kills him; by killing him he thinks he’ll be famous. But this is reversed, no one cares about him. His jealousy gets him nowhere,” Good said.

Good seems to be enjoying her directing experience.

“It is definitely fun to see what’s in your head,” Good said.

All students are working hard on their Directing I scenes, which will be performed on Nov. 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. in Room 28 of Guzzetta Hall. The event is open to the public.

“Directing is a big responsibility and it’s not for everyone. I love the control and putting the vision out there,” Round said.