Acting in Direct Fest

Issue 28: April 17, 2024

As the spring semester keeps moving, I, among many other students, cannot stress enough how much we wish it would slow down! But I implore you to hang on just a little longer, because there are so many incredible activities presenting themselves in the next few weeks–one of which is McMurry Theatre’s Direct Fest! Direct Fest is a collection of ten-minute plays, chosen and directed by students in Neena McClain’s Directing class. This opportunity allows students to experience what directing is like, and to learn from an experienced director. The ultimate goal is to produce their shows at the Direct Fest showcase.

I have covered one of our student directors in a previous article, so today I will be analyzing the actor perspective. Evelyn Van Houten, a freshman Theatre major at McMurry, is participating in three Direct Fest shows, and provides insightful testimony to the process.

Taking on three shows might seem like a hefty load, but Van Houten eagerly embraces the challenge. “It seemed like a good opportunity to experience different directing styles, and I also wanted to support my fellow Theatre majors. I would hope that people audition for my show when I take the directing class, so that’s why I do the same for them.”

She has been casted in “Tis Not Me She Loves,” directed by Zain Hargrove, “Under the Floorboards,” directed by Aby Brown, and “The Chocolate Affair,” directed by Nathaniel Griffin. Of the three, Van Houten has a hard time deciding which is her favorite, but ultimately confides that “Tis Not Me She Loves,” takes that claim. “It is very hard to pick my favorite because I love all of the shows I am a part of, but I would have to say that my favorite is ‘Tis Not Me She Loves.’ It is a very comedic show and getting to use a southern accent is very enjoyable. Zain makes the rehearsal process very fun and I am always excited to rehearse for his show.”

Van Houten states that being in student directed shows, “allows me more acting experience, more experience with different directors, and I get to learn things about student directing second hand.” It is because of this experience that she eagerly anticipates the opportunity to direct!

Come support the incredible student talent we have here on campus. The Direct Fest Showcase will open next Friday the 26th and conclude on Saturday the 27th. Official times will be released closer to show day! See you there!