Students produce two plays in three weeks

In only three weeks time, a small group of students have produced, directed and starred in two plays.

The two undergraduate black box plays, “The Zoo Story” and “The American Dream” (both by Edward Albee) feature all-student casts and two student directors.

Emily Wittler/KANSAN Alex Roschitz, a student at the University of Kansas, performs in "The Zoo Story," an Undergraduate Black Box Production. Alex's character, Jerry, sets out to achieve a connection with a perfect stranger.

Emily Wittler/KANSAN
Alex Roschitz, a student at the University of Kansas, performs in “The Zoo Story,” an Undergraduate Black Box Production. Alex’s character, Jerry, sets out to achieve a connection with a perfect stranger.

“We have free rein to direct a one act of our choosing. The show is designed to accent the director’s work so there is minimal set, costuming and designing,” said Jacci Lufkin, a senior from Melbourne, Fla, who is directing “The American Dream.”

“The plays were written in 1959/1960 and speak to the constraints of society in that time, which I believe to transcend to today,” Lufkin said.

Brian Buntin, a junior from Paola, is directing “The Zoo Story.”

“As a director, I create the show that the audience sees,” Buntin said. “During the rehearsal process the actors and I would work for about two and a half hours a night on blocking, acting and understanding the show itself.”

Both Lufkin and Buntin had to apply to be directors and were selected by the University.

“Minus the lighting, which was done by one of the professors, I personally worked on every other piece of the production, including the costumes,” Buntin said.

Both directors and cast were expected to have a full-scale production of the two plays by the end of three weeks.

“There is a lot that goes into directing a play, but we only had three weeks. Whatever we decided to do, we had to do quickly,” Lufkin said. “As a student director, I’m expected to be multiple steps ahead of the production and always looking for chances to learn and improve.”

Jordan Partin, a senior from Garden City, plays Mrs. Barker in “The American Dream,” and says that working only with students is a good learning experience.

“The cool thing about getting to work with a student director is that we are all kind of on the same playing field. Odds are that we are at similar points in our training and therefore there is a lot of room for experimenting,” Partin said.

Lufkin, Buntin and Partin are all pleased with the progress of the productions.

“There has been a real sense of teamwork with this show. We work together to understand the script and to discover the characters,” Partin said.

The remaining show times are Feb. 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the William Inge Theater inside Murphy Hall. Tickets are $15 for the public, $14 for senior citizens, KU faculty and staff, and $10 for students.

  • Updated Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:28 am
  • Edited by Kaitlyn Klein