Students audition for single act play

Michelle Shnayder – Copy Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, students sat outside the theater in the Kendall Drama Lab, laughing and talking amongst themselves. They were awaiting their chance to audition for for “How

I Learned to Drive,” a one act play presented by Southern’s Theatre Department and The Crescent Players.

They practiced their lines and gossiped, waiting for their turn to audition. Melanie Byron, a sophomore, and theater major, was standing with her peers eagerly waiting her turn.

“I’m not auditioning for any specific part,” said Byron. “I’m just trying the best I can to get into the show.”

Bryon said that her love for acting and desire to entertain people motivates her to pursue theater and participate in plays at Southern.

“I am a theater major, and I chose to pursue theater mostly because I like to entertain people,” said Byron. “My favorite thing is watching the reactions of the audience and feeling like I did well.”

Byron said she is intrigued by acting and wants to pursue it as a career. She loves being able to embody different personas on stage.

“I really like to be able to portray different characters,” said Byron.

“I feel like acting is the only job where you can do that.”

Among the students waiting to audition was Mathew Lannantuonie, a senior, and theater major.

“Either of the two male parts would make me very happy,” said Lannantuonie. “I love acting and there is nothing I would rather do with my spare time.”

Lannantuonie said he wants to pursue a career in theater, a fact he discovered at Southern after developing a newfound passion for the art form.

“I actually found theater at southern,” said Lannantuonie. “Ever since I took my first drama class, I knew that being on stage is what I want to do

with my life.”

Lannantuonie said that this particular play appealed to him because he believes that the play’s message is both relevant and important. He said it takes specific skills to be able to act in this sort of production.

“What drew me to this is the mature content matter and the different type of emotions and topics that the text portrays,” said Lannantuonie. “To act [in] this play well, you have to display sensitive topics in a way people can understand.”

While the majority of students waiting to audition were theater majors, others were pursuing entirely different majors but still wanted to be a part of the play.

Jack Storm, a freshman, and biotechnology major, said that he intends to pursue biotechnology as a career, but he loves theater and enjoys spending his spare time being a part of school productions.

“I’ve been doing theater since high school and it’s become my passion.” said Storm. “I love it so much, even though I can’t do it as a career, and I am happy that Southern lets me explore my hobby.”

Storm said that being on stage gives him a cathartic and social way to express himself and spend his free time.

“I can express myself and my emotions on stage in way I never could in society,” said Storm. “Theater means a lot to me because I make friends and challenge myself when I get involved in plays.”

Kyle Kleinschmidt, a sophomore, was sitting behind a desk handing paperwork.

Kleinschmidt said that he enjoys acting, but his true passion lies in stage managing.

“I’m the stage manager,” said Kleinschmidt, “I have loved stage managing ever since I discovered it last semester and realized that I enjoy it a lot.”

Kleinschmidt said he jumped at the chance
to stage manage this production because he wanted the chance to work with professor Kaia Monroe Raric, the play’s director. He said enjoyed the subject matter of the play.

“I found out that the position was open and I got really excited,” said Kleinschmidt. “I wanted to work with the director and I really liked the message of the actual play.”

Out of all the students that auditioned, a select few will be given callbacks, and even less will be given parts in this one act play.

“How I Learned to Drive,” will be debuting in the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts in November. Students, faculty, and guests will be invited to watch the selected actors perform.

Photo Credit: Michelle Shnayder


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