First castings are everything

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UNC student directors searched for the best talents to cast in their own one-act plays. (The Mirror/Andrew Stiegler)

“Can you do that for me again? But as if you were like, an awkward teenager?” said Student Director Emily Keaten.

A blacked-out room in Frasier Hall was the epitome of an acting décor on Monday evening. UNC’s Theatre Education program held auditions that involved students directing and acting short, one-act monologues.

Following Keaten, UNC student Nate Felton acted out a monologue from the US-version of the television show “The Office,” in a scene that involved the character Dwight Schrute. With an over exaggerated facial expression and a twinkle in his eye, Felton belted out:

“What is my perfect crime? I break into Tiffany’s at midnight. Do I go for the vault? No, I go for the chandelier. It’s priceless. As I’m taking it down, a woman catches me. She tells me to stop. It’s her father’s business. She’s Tiffany. I say no. We make love all night. In the morning, the cops come and I escape in one of their uniforms. I tell her to meet me in Mexico, but I go to Canada. I don’t trust her. Besides, I like the cold.”

Everyone in the room shed tears of laughter; certain kind of attitude was easy to feel, something enjoyable, as if no one was there for any other reason but for the sake of pure enjoyment.

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A total of six student directors specifically devoted their time to directing the monologues. All Theatre Education juniors and seniors, each director is required to take a class called “Directing a One Act Play.”

“Everyone who auditioned isn’t required to audition at all,” said Emily Holtz, one of the student directors. “They’re coming because they want a chance to be part of a production and gain performance experience.”

Out of all the students who auditioned, only six will be picked to perform in separate One Act shows. The requirements stated that whomever wanted to audition must perform a one-minute contemporary monologue. Some of the student directors asked the actors to perform their acts in diverse ways, the purpose being to not only see how well the students could take and apply instructions, but also to see if the actors could fit a character they needed to cast.    

“I love being a theater major,” Holtz said. “I love stories and love entertaining people with those stories, and am inspired by how they can be life-giving as well. Being a theater major doesn’t even feel like school or work. It feels like recess.”

People can go see the One Act shows the week before Thanksgiving break.

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