At Saint Ursula Academy, our talents are demonstrated in a variety of ways. Some girls are in SUAVE (Saint Ursula Academy Vocal Ensemble), some girls play on our competitive GGCL sports teams, and many girls are academically driven and successful. Another way that students pursue their talents is through SUA’s Directing Lab. Directing Lab is a theatre class offered every two years to students who have taken the required acting class prerequisites. The class focuses on showcasing mini one-act shows, directed by students themselves.
Ms. Hinkel, instructor of the class, says that Directing Lab is “one of the most unique classes in the city,” as well as at SUA. The class allows girls to see what directing in the “real world” is really like. One of Ms. Hinkel’s favorite parts about the class is casting week, because the students enrolled in Directing Lab must set up the auditions for their own shows. Then, they watch all of the auditions and review who they want to choose for their one-acts. The most rewarding part about this is when the students “open their eyes to just how talented their peers are,” according to Ms. Hinkel. Not only does the class allow its students recognize their own abilities, but it also allows the students to see the originality of previously unfamiliar peers.
One of the aspects the students most cherish is how the class allows for expression of own creativity and allowing ideas come alive on stage. Moira Garry ’18, a current student in Directing Lab, says that her favorite part is “getting to direct and having [her] vision for [her] show come alive and seeing how it all works out.” Moira’s one-act, Brains, Beauty, & Personality, revolves around friendship and how true friends never leave your side. She is extremely excited to see how all of her hard work is turning into something she is really proud of. It is even more fulfilling for the students and Ms. Hinkel to see that their success has come about from their own ideas, with little influence from Ms. Hinkel herself.
From a different perspective, the actresses in the Directing Lab acts also gain enthusiasm for the productions because they are able to participate under the leadership of their friends, which is a more intimate setting than performing in the two large shows SUA puts on every year. Shannon Healey ’17, who is featured in two of the acts this year, loves the showcase because she is being directed by her friends and therefore is able to “relate to [the act] on a personal level,” as well as remaining in a “comfortable environment.”
Participating in Directing Lab is a unique and personal experience benefiting not only the students in the class, but the SUA community as a whole. We are so lucky to be in an environment where we are able to share our own individuality freely.
For more information on what you will see, here is what Ms. Hinkel can reveal about a couple:
Brains, Beauty, & Personality (Moira Garry ‘18) → A powerful act about friendship, which also contains some feministic qualities.
The Mouse and the Raven (Laura Wiedemann ’18) → A comedy about old women. You may or may not see one of the characters carry around a taxidermy dog…
Oprah Made Me Do It (Tory Noble ’18) → A comedy about… you guessed it, Oprah!
The Clocks (Margaret Lyon ’18) → This is a contemporary act that is different from what you would expect or have seen before. It focuses on time and how we use time.
Love, Loss, & What I Wore (Kieley Doll ’17) → This is a section from a larger show that is very feministic.
Lucy in the Sky (Alexia Scholl ’18) → Alexia’s act is centered in a homeless shelter, and focuses on characters and how all of them got into the position they’re in. It also focuses on humanity, which can be connected to what some girls are currently learning in our religion classes.