A seat in the director’s chair

Junior takes on leading a production


Junior director Ella Konwinski and fight coach Michael Catron talking to cast about a scene.

Bowie Zekpa, Staff Reporter

To bring a production to the stage takes a lot of hands-on effort. With things like set, costume, lighting, props and more having to be taken into consideration, being a director comes with many highs, lows and jobs that need to be completed by a deadline. As the theater department works on putting together the comedic play that is ‘Clue,’ junior Ella Konwinski has taken on the challenge of student directing the production.

With a passion for film, Konwinski discusses how she has always been drawn to the tech side of the stage. With high school being a great opportunity to expand on her interest, she decided to take charge and begin a leadership role to see what backstage is like.

“I have known for a while that I wanted to be in the movie industry, either producing, set design, and have considered directing,” Konwinski said. “It is very difficult to become successful in those fields, but I still have a huge passion for film, so I didn’t want to give up. I have been involved in theater classes since freshman year and this year I’ve decided to take it more seriously.”

Giving the actors a platform and really immersing the audience into the performances has always been one of the theater department’s major focuses. With careful planning, sketches and tons of ideas they are handed the task to make the stage a different setting for each show. Each being more unique than the last.

“We start with sketches and models,” drama teacher Brooke Phillips said. “Ella made a really great set design concept and the class voted hers to be created. Then we started measuring out the scale and ordering materials for construction. It was a big set to create, the hardest part has been painting all the really specific details on the set and the clue cards.”

In bringing an idea to life, lots of proposals might have to be rejected throughout the process. Not only does it have to be creative, but it has to be practical and possible. With a various assortment of tools and recommendations, it takes a good deal of consideration to make it a reality.

“The most difficult part is bringing the model to real life,” Konwinski said. “Since I designed it all the questions come to me which sometimes gets stressful because I feel so new to being ‘in charge’. I work alongside Mrs. Phillips and she has taught me how to block and take authority with the cast and crew. At first, I was very shy and didn’t say much, but I have realized it’s my responsibility to put together the show how I have envisioned it.”

Though tech is an immense part of putting together a show, directing also comes down to working with people and groups. With all the imaginative minds working together on one thing, ‘compromise’ is a word that is brought up daily. Along with a cast, there’s a crew for every portion of the show. Sound, house, props, design and the majority of the crews need to know what happens on stage and have to agree. To make the vision come true.

“I think what qualifies someone as a good director is being able to listen to their peers and actor’s opinions,” junior and cast member Chloe Belle said. “Being open to suggestions is a big part of being a good director.”

To finish the production a lot of careful crafting has been put into every second of the performance. The hard work put in by Ella and the rest of the department keeps the audience pulled in. Keeping people excited and tuned in to see the show on Dec. 1, 2 and 3.