From the director of VENDETTA CHROME

post by Kristen van Ginhoven

How lucky am I? I am one of three students currently directing a one act play by a woman playwright as part of Emerson College’s Main Stage upcoming show ‘Coming of Age’, happening Feb. 25-28 in the Semel Theatre. WOW! Huge thanks go to Maureen Shea, initiator of the entire event, as without her, this incredible learning curve I am currently on would not be happening. She has long been an advocate of creating opportunities to hear the voice of women playwrights onstage and she is also the one who thought it would be a valuable experience for students to be involved as directors. I feel incredibly grateful to be one of the three chosen.

Since being chosen last spring, it has been a whirlwind. Maureen read tons of plays and when she read ‘Vendetta Chrome’ by Sally Oswald, she thought it would be a good fit for me. She was right. I completely fell in love with the play and am having an incredible time working with the design team, the actors, the stage management team, the musical director and composer, and everyone else who is part of telling the story of Vendetta Chrome. From a press release about the play: ‘It’s the ’90s. The 1890s. And poor Vendetta has always been a bit behind the rest of the girls in her elocution class. But now it’s up to her to save her school, her family, and herself–and it’s all in the dance moves.’ Yes, Maureen definitely found a play that appeals to my aesthetic: ensemble based, farce, full of movement and music, complete with mysterious twists to the story.

I have been lucky enough to communicate with the playwright, Sally Oswald, who will be coming to campus to partake in forums and see the show during its run Feb. 25-28, 2010. She has been a wonderful support and it will be very exciting to meet her. Maureen continues to guide me with a clear hand and has such a deep knowledge of directing and of telling stories that I am able to completely trust this journey we are on. How many people can direct for the first time on a thrust stage (The Semel Theatre in the Tufte Building) and have someone come in and guide them in how to most effectively use the groundplan? I cannot tell you how valuable this experience is for me, a mid career professional actor and educator who is currently an emerging director. I am learning an incredible amount about the professional process of directing a play and the twists and turns that are part of the director’s process. I hope all the various students involved in the different areas feel the same way as we all work together to tell this story in the most dynamic, theatrical way possible.

It feels like I have been granted a self imposed MFA in Directing opportunity and for that, I am extremely grateful to Maureen, Emerson Stage and all who made this opportunity possible.

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