Last Act: Seniors direct short plays and musicals


Lexi Kurt

In senior directed One Acts last spring, juniors Bianca Bair and Alex Smith put on their best southern accents to showcase ways to survive the end of the world.

Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer

The bright lights of the stage and the roaring applause of the crowd are nothing new to senior Polly Ayala. However, she took on a different role for her last show and became a director, calling the shots instead of performing herself.

One Acts are different from the mainstage shows put on by the theater department, as a multitude of mini-performances take the place of one coherent show. Drama teacher Katie Berry announced the directors this week, including Ayala. 

Ayala is directing a show titled “A Most Average Musical” about three college roommates going out for the night while one of their roommates stays home.

“As a director you have to see the connection and help people connect on stage,” Ayala said. “You are the mind of it all.”

Seniors also have the option to direct as a pair. Darby Sutherlin is co-directing a play called “The County Ghost Hunters” with Lauren Lueckenotto, which is a comedic knock-off of Ghostbusters.   

“This is all very new for me and Lauren,” Sutherlin said. “We sat down and were coming up with how we want characters to look and act. We are able to come up with new creative ideas and hopefully everyone will just have a good laugh.” 

Berry supervises, schedules and creates programs. As the director of mainstage performances, she, like the seniors, will be taking on different responsibilities for these shows.  

“I will be supervising and giving advice, but in the area of actually directing each piece I am not the lead,” Berry said. “No matter what advice I give, these students are ultimately allowed to make the final decision as long as it results in a safe and good performance.”

This school year marks Berry’s first year teaching and directing at Miege. She said that she has been able to see what the department is capable of and is working on selecting shows for next year based on her experiences directing this year. 

“Directing is fun but very stressful,” Berry said. “Usually the process goes that in the beginning you are comfortable and see no flaws, but then about two weeks before the show, it becomes terrible. The last week is fantastic, and the live shows are great.” 

Sutherlin said that her favorite theater memory was One Acts last year because of the different perspectives senior directors provided.

“Last year’s One Acts were just so laid back and so different from all the other shows,” Sutherlin said. “I became close with people I would not have usually been able to meet, and it was so fun to see how the seniors’ minds worked.” 

The final show performed will be directed by Sofie Hyde about a con artist psychic. This will be the seniors’ last show, and Ayala said that she will use this bittersweet experience for good.

“It will be really emotional, but we are actors,” Ayala said. “We channel that emotion and put it into our character.”