Theater troupe prepares student-directed one act production

Every year the members of Troupe 7262 put on a one act production: a short performance that the cast then takes to a thespian festival to compete against other troupes. This year’s one act is “Conversation Therapy,” which according to the director is a piece about a group of students with different unique personalities trying to save the job of their teacher, Ms. Whittle. This piece is being directed by troupe president, senior Mackenzie Brown. Although she has past experience being an assistant director, this is her first time directing a one-act by herself. 

“With directing there’s a shift,” Brown said, “I have to really think about how I want it to look, how I want it to be presented, and make all of these executive decisions for the cast.”

One of Brown’s goals as a director is to help the cast, made of mainly underclassmen, become better actors while also maintaining the strong relationships she has already made with them. 

“There’s a delicate balance between being a friend and being a teacher,” Brown said. “I want to be like you’re doing great, but realistically if you want a good product, you have to be able to make corrections and be assertive.”

According to senior Macey Wyler, having a student director is just as beneficial as having an adult, and can give cast members more opportunities to contribute. 

“There isn’t much of a difference as far as expectations go,” Wyler said. “Although I feel like with a student director, we have a place where we can kind of run our own ideas by her to see if she likes it and things like that.”

Right now, the cast rehearses three times a week: twice during primetime and once after school on Thursdays, but when they arrive closer to opening night, their rehearsal time will only increase. As of now, rehearsals mainly consist of learning the blocking or the character’s movement on stage.

“Rehearsals are pretty fun and lighthearted,” Brown said. “We are just trying to get blocking down, but later down the road, rehearsal will be running things, making corrections, and things like that.”

Directing has been a new and exciting challenge for Brown, but she says she wouldn’t trade the experience she’s had in the troupe and working on this project for anything. 

“The troupe gives people a home within Har-Ber, and a community that they can rely on,” Brown said. “I really have a love for the troupe.”

“Conversation Therapy” will be performed at a one act festival on November 18th and 19th in Russellville where it has a chance to be chosen for a state festival. 

“My sophomore year, we were in a one act that did get chosen for the state festival,” Brown said. “That’s what I’m kind of aiming for this year