MMC Directing Projects

A Collaborative Effort for Theatre Students

Each semester, Marymount Manhattan College puts on what is known as the directing projects. This semester’s directing projects ran the weekend of the 6th – 8th of December.

The directing projects are short plays or excerpts from longer plays that are entirely student-run productions. They are done in collaboration with the Directing III class offered at the college. The performances are the final projects for the students taking the course to showcase the work they have directed throughout the semester.

In the fall semester, there were nine projects in total.  The projects are split into three bills: A, B, and C, each bill performing different times throughout the weekend in accordance with their counterparts.  Every show gets three performances.

Many Marymount theatre students anticipate auditions for the directing projects each semester.  Maximilian Itsikson, a sophomore in the BFA Acting program, got the chance to perform in his first directing project this semester: an excerpt from Line by Israel Horowitz.

“I had a very supportive and experienced cast, but more importantly, my director Nick Bradshaw,” said Itsikson. “Through his smooth directing and understanding, we bonded and made this show the best possible.”

Marymount Manhattan sophomore Caroline Storey had the opportunity to be on the other end of the experience as an audience member of Bill A.

“I had a great experience,” Storey stated. “The waitlist was very easy. I got in and got to sit right in front on the mats! The plays all had variety, and I was so into it that the time just flew by.”

Storey also discussed the talent that astounded her throughout her experience.

“It really showcased not only the directors but the actors and everyone behind the scenes as well. In between plays, the lights and set would be changed out and I could see it being done up close. I realized how much more there is to it than I normally would notice or think about.”

Since the directing projects happen each semester, the turnaround time from the moment directors get the scripts to the final product is just short of three months. The student directors must cast the shows, stage and rehearse the production, and have it ready in less than a semester’s time.

Actors must also learn all their lines and blocking with the support of their directors and fellow cast members. The experience is a thrill for the members of the companies.

“Considering this was the first time I did a DP, it was less stressful than I imagined,” claimed Itsikson. “I enjoyed how close we got and how accepting everyone was of our acting methods and ideas. I didn’t suspect I would have as much freedom to experiment and play around.”

Itsikson gave advice to students considering auditioning next semester or in semesters to come.

“I would say go for it. There are nine plays; you can get into at least one. If anything, you have the audition experience!” Itsikson urged. “Just remember, you really just got to be yourself. They don’t care about you as an actor, although it helps, they’re looking at you as a human, not a character. You make the character, not the other way around.”

Auditions for the spring directing projects have not yet been posted, but likely will be announced early next semester. The College’s theatre department encourages all theatre students to try to become involved. The projects will need technical operators, deck crew, and actors. The only prerequisite for actors is to have taken and completed THTR 122, Intro to Acting for Majors, or a higher level acting course.