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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

A little bit of gentle direction

Director Steven Sloan, middle, is giving advice on a performance of “Bye Bye Birdie” to James Thompson, left, and Kristen Loyd, right. ()

Students in DVC’s drama department spend countless hours devoted to their art in hopes that someday people will be able to watch and admire their hard work, and this is exactly what DVC’s directing projects course is all about.

Nicole Hess-Diestler, teacher of the class, says, “It is meant to allow students to spread their wings and fly. They get the opportunity to take full responsibility for the event and its outcome.”

Her role in this program is to provide feedback and assign the students specific themes. The student directors must then choose a scene from a published playwright they believe correctly depicts this theme and possible conflicts that may arise from it.

For instance, the current theme is prejudice and stereotypes.

This course is completely student oriented, which is rare, but an amazingly unique opportunity.

Diestler is extremely proud of her students and their dedication and says, “I am there to provide guidance and leadership only.”

The student directors are given the opportunity for their work to be showcased during the drama season, and last season’s “Fuddy Meers” was a product of this program.

Drama area chair, Ed Trujillo, says, “The directing program feeds into the community, so it’s not just a program for the students but also for the community.”

These students dedicate about four to six hours a week to this class alone. Over a period of five weeks they choose their scene, cast their actors, provide their own props and costumes, and direct their scene to be prepared for the final performance, the brown bags.

The brown bag shows are open to all and is a donation-based entry with no tickets sold. The upcoming shows are at 7 p.m. March 30 and April 1st, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

The directors and actors involved are very grateful for this opportunity.

Jeffrey Crawford, one of the student directors, says, “We are all in it for learning, no matter how cheesy that sounds. There really is no competitive aspect.” He also says it puts students to the test but, “It’s a good place to be, because of how much a family we are.”

Aelpie Smith, another student director, says, “It’s nice to have a hands-on class”, as opposed to the prerequisites, which mostly consists of lectures.

Alex Guerra says, “It’s different, because I am used to acting. It gives you a different perspective. It made me realize how much work directors do.”

Previously there had been talk about making this program only available every other year, but with recent budget cuts this program may be cut once and for all.  

Alex Guerra, who was going to wait until next year to take this course, is glad he has this opportunity now, but thinks it truly would be a shame and a tragedy for the drama department to lose this program.

Guerra says, “It will make it very difficult and students will not get a chance to direct.

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About the Contributor
Brittney Griffin, Staff member
Staff member, fall 2011.

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A little bit of gentle direction