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Directors take on Croatian humor: Students present their midterms in directing festival

Sophomore Mona Lutfi plays the role of Jasna in Gavran’s “All About Women” last Saturday night. The play dealt with two sisters who finally reconcile on their mother’s birthday after seven years of misunderstanding. Senior Jordan Randall directed the piece. / photo by Alison Rodriguez

Sophomore Mona Lutfi plays the role of Jasna in Gavran’s “All About Women” last Saturday night. The play dealt with two sisters who finally reconcile on their mother’s birthday after seven years of misunderstanding. Senior Jordan Randall directed the piece. / photo by Alison Rodriguez

Cody Luk
Assistant Arts Editor

Student directors showcased their projects on Croatian playwright Miro Gavran’s comedic plays at “A Gaggle of Gavrans,” Friday and Saturday in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret.

The one-act and scene festival started with different scenes of “All About Women,” directed by Jordan Randall and Amy Bolton.

Since the scenes were from different segments of the play, the two productions were presented separately.

The student directors are from the Directing Studio I class. They started these projects at the beginning of the semester and rehearsed for a month and a half.

The part directed by Randall revolves around Nena, a woman whose sister, Jasna, ends up stealing and marrying Nena’s former boyfriend.

Their mother, Maria, invited both daughters to celebrate her birthday together. Nena has been envying her sister for many years.

Towards the end of the play, Nena realizes Jasna did not actually have a happy marriage and her husband ends up leaving her for a younger woman.

“I like it, I think it’s more relatable to me and I felt the emotions,” said Kelley Maggiulli, senior liberal studies major who attended the festival for her friends who are acting in the plays.

“I’m a compassionate person so I feel compassionate for (Nena) that her sister took her boyfriend,” she said.

The first four scenes of “All About Women” are directed by Bolton and they are about the friendships of three women.

The play started with Lada meeting up with Anita before Lada leaves for a few months to America. Shortly after, Anita befriends Stella, a colleague from work. Upon returning, Lada is horrified at her friend’s new friendship and changed perspective on many things.

The roles of Anita and Lada are both double cast, with four different actors playing the two roles. The characters switched actors in front of the audience by passing representative accessories of each character, such as a handbag with a red scarf and a headband, from one actor to the other.

“It was different. It was interesting to see how different girls played the same role,” Maggiulli said. “They did the transition well, with the purse (representing) one girl and the headband for another so I didn’t get lost.”

“The actresses might have been more suitable for that particular scene, so they made it unique. It was a different idea,” Maggiulli said.

“The Doll” was separated into three parts, with scenes one through three directed by Jordan Klomp, scenes four through six directed by Bo Powell and scenes seven through nine directed by Daniel Ramirez.

“The Doll” is about a man, Marko, who lives with Stella, a technological doll to substitute his girlfriend who left him because of his wrongdoings.

The doll is a laboratory-created woman of flesh and blood.

A female scientist, Barbara, who created Stella added her own perspective on relationships to the doll, which caused Marko to be angry many times because he believes that women do not know about relationships as well as men.

Throughout the play, many misunderstandings occur. At the end, Marko learns from Stella that if he treats a woman like a doll, then she will only be a doll, but if he treats the same woman as a princess, then she can be a princess.

“It flowed very nicely in the way that it was broken up because each pair of actors focused on a certain issue and each group could have been a story on their own, but it still came together as a cohesive story,” Jamie Sato, sophomore child development major, said.

“You will get out of what you put into a relationship and there has to be respect on both sides in order for it to work,” Sato said.

“I want (the audience) to think about how, although the story is fictional, the parallels it draws to how men should treat women,” Randall said.

“It was really hard and it was also so much fun. The hardest part is making it professional because (the actors) are all my friends so I just tried making it workable while still being friends. Everyone works professionally.”

Cody Luk can be reached at cody.luk@laverne.edu.

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Related posts:

  1. Directors take on Croatian humor: Gender-swaps included
  2. Students display directing chops
  3. Students sit in the director’s chair
  4. Curtain rises on student directors
  5. Directing class showcases variety

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