Direct Fest and a Summer Theatre Preview

Issue 29: May 1, 2024

This past weekend, McMurry Theatre students participated in Direct Fest as a part of the Academic Symposium. The Directing 1 students each directed a 10-minute play, and all 8 were showcased. I am honored to say that I was a part of 3 of the plays! I acted in Zain Hargrove’s “‘Tis not me she loves”, Aby Brown’s “Under the Floorboards”, and Nathaniel Griffin’s “The Chocolate Affair”. Being very involved in Direct Fest meant lots of rehearsals and quick changes, and it took a lot of work and time during the process. In the end, though, I am so proud of how the shows went and of all the effort people put into it. 

It is impossible to pick my favorite show I was a part of, but I especially loved acting in “The Chocolate Affair”, where I played the sassy green M&M. A shot from the show taken by photographer and McMurry student TJ Gonzales is at the top of this article! My favorite show that I was not a part of was probably Abby Ewing’s show “Accents Inc.” because the two actors Gabe Pyenta and Roberto Rueda had the whole audience engaged and constantly laughing!

Everyone I know who saw the show had many great things to say about the performances. Student Gevin Beauchamp said, “I really thought the performances were great. It was cool to see some of the students direct their own plays, and they all did a really good job.”

If you were unable to see the performances, they were all filmed by GoJinn Studios and are all on YouTube! The video can be accessed here:

This was the last Theatre performance of the semester, but the shows won’t stop this summer! If you are staying for summer courses or if you live in the Abilene area, there will be two productions put on this summer. “Just So Stories” will be performed on Saturday, June 22 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Ryan Little Theatre and on Tuesday, June 25 at 10:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Abilene Public Library. This production will be a fun show meant for children produced in Partnership with Young Audiences of Abilene. The play will tell many stories such as “How the Camel got his Hump” and “How the Leopard got his spots.” It is a perfect show to bring any younger kids to as well!

The second show is called “Curses, Foiled Again!” which is an old-fashioned musical melodrama. It will be performed July 25 – 28 in Ryan Little Theatre. McMurry Theatre Professor Neena McLain says that she is excited about the summer season because “Summer gives us an opportunity to include alumni and community members”. She also states that “It’s so fun to open our Theatre up and have current students working with alumni and community members. Theatre is collaborative and what better way to collaborate than to include as many people as possible in our Theatre!” Both of these shows will be open to the public for auditions, so be sure to check the McMurry Theatre Instagram for updates on audition dates and times!