Arts and Culture

An Interview with the Student Director of Agency

By Zadie Lacy

Monday, October 27, 2014

Aaron Cohen has his headset on, and as the student director of the one-acts this year, he’s got a lot on his plate. As a senior year student in the drama department, he knows the routine, and he has a vision for the execution of the skits.By four-o’clock, everyone’s in the auditorium ready to rehearse.

Being an established and experienced member of the drama department, Cohen knows he has a responsibility not only to the drama department, but also to the actors individually,

“When high school students are in authoritative roles, too often they become too harsh and arrogant, but being in this role, I want to bring a strong but kind presence, because I want to give MHS a good show, and I want stay true to the actors,” said Cohen.

This year as a senior and director, Cohen hopes that this years 1 Acts, the debut skits of the drama department “hopefully students will appreciate originality of plays, and I hope people will see that students are putting their own effort and ideas and development because the skits are student written, and everyone has already grown and changed so much, this production is truly a collaborative effort to showcase the potentiality of our originality and creativity.”

Aaron supports the idea of having an experienced established student in an authoritative role such as a student director, “because when you hire a paid professional to come in, they don’t know the strengths, potential and experience of each actor, and a lot of talent gets overlooked often.”

Aaron goes on to mention “I know that the director’s attitude plays a huge role in the end product of the performance, and the overall tone of the experience, like I’ve had sort of mean directors, and the productions ended up coming off as pretty tense and pressured, and as a director I want to set a positive tone. Also having a student director is great because I can keep each actor’s talents in mind, and for me it was really important to have the plays this year be student written as something I want to bring to the table.” As a director, Aaron is very keen on the collaborative process in all of his productions.

Directing is something Aaron is considering in the future, and being a student director is great training for that.“I enjoy the strong sense of directing students in a show, because it gives me a chance to work on teaching and acting and being in authoritative positions in theater if i wanna go into that in the future”

Laura May Brunk, a freshman and first-year drama member at MHS, affirms that Aaron has achieved student respect.  “Aaron’s a really good director because hes interested, experienced and he knows what works and what doesn’t. The writing is very good, and overall the Drama Department is a great open community.”

Giving experienced students more authoritative roles allows students to thrive in many different positions. For instance, there’s the technical crew, the directors, the costume crew, and of course the on-stage actors. This creates “a good outlet for artistic expression, and a wide variety of people in a community that is supportive, open, accepting, and encouraging,” Brunk comments.

“I definitely have more friends, and a whole community, and a great artistic outlet. I also have more confidence in my self expression,” says Brunk on her overall experience as a first year drama member.

It’s hard to argue against such a positive statement.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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