Students put on a SPITacular show
January 16, 2016
This past Friday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 14 4o students performed in the annual Student Produced Innovative Theatre (SPIT). The evenings included two shows; a one-act drama Booby Trap directed by seniors Amy Evans and Annie Peterson and a one-act comedy Murder in the Knife Room directed by seniors Avery Smith and Grace Huber. West Side Story sat down with co-director Grace Huber to get the lowdown on this year’s performances.
West Side Story: What’s the process like applying for director?
Grace Huber: If you want to be a director you apply for it on the call board at the end of the year, and then you’ll have an interview with me and other directors from this year. We’ll probably ask you questions about your experience, what kind of things you think you’d be good at as a director, we’ll ask you some jokes, some questions that don’t make any sense. Last year we had to tell them a joke [to apply for comedy director]. There were about ten to 15 of us, who tried to be a director last year and the four get it every year. It’s really cool. Obviously anybody with any experience is welcome. We try to keep SPIT people involved, so even if you’ve never been in SPIT you can apply.
WSS: Who do you encourage to try out for SPIT?
GH: I definitely encourage everybody to try out for SPIT. It’s a really nice, lowkey way to try your hand at acting, especially since we try to cast really large groups; our comedy is 22 people and the drama is 18 people so it’s 40 people together which is the same size as a [Spring or Fall Theatre West] show. The audition is, I think, less scary because you’re not having a teacher in front of you…it’s your peers or people you know from other places, so it’s a much simpler and less difficult experience. Since it’s a one-act show, you don’t have to be present at as many rehearsals, which makes it a lot easier for scheduling. So, if you want to see what’s it’s like before making a full commitment of being in the play or musical it’s a good opportunity for that. So I encourage everybody, especially those who want to get involved in Theatre West later.
WSS: How has this year been as a director? What has been the most fun part of SPIT so far?
As a director it’s really fun to see the vision Avery and I had on stage. When we were looking through scripts we would find a lot of things like ‘Oh, yeah, this could work, I kind of like this part of it,’ but we found one that we were like suddenly ‘We have to do this’ called Murder in the Knife Room and that is the show this year. We had all these ideas for it, like I had this giant binder full of all of these ideas and being able to tell a person ‘I want you to do it like this’ and see it actually happen is a really cool experience. Being able to know that other people are enjoying it [is nice]. Because when you watch it for a certain amount of time you kind of stop laughing at the jokes, but on [Thursday night] we were watching it and I heard people laughing and I was like ‘Thank God it’s funny!’ I wasn’t nervous… but then I started laughing because everyone else was laughing, so that was so much better. It was definitely a good feeling to know that the things Avery and I were trying so hard to get perfect were actually having an impact on the audience.
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Photos by Olivia Dachtler.