Mullingar Arts Centre is giving a group of talented local students the opportunity to strut their stuff – not on the stage, but behind the scenes, in a directorial capacity.
Following the enormous success of last year’s project, this year sees four local students - James Bourke (17 ), Lauren Devine (17 ), Daniel Egerton (17 ) and Stephen Hassett (16 ) - tasked with auditioning their performers, casting, and directing them in a one-act play.
As was the case last year, the Young Directors have been given total creative control throughout. There will, of course, be support available to them if they choose to avail of it, but otherwise their mentors will be adopting a hands-off policy.
The Young Directors all indicated that they hoped to pursue careers in the performing and creative arts: acting, directing, performing.
Daniel Egerton said, “As a performer I’m accustomed to taking direction, but there’s sometimes a little bit of you that still feels ‘Oh, I’d rather do it this way, or that way…’ and when you’re the director, then ultimately that decision is yours.”
Lauren Devine said; “I felt unsure and somewhat out of my depth in the beginning, but by the time we were ready for performance, I had developed much more confidence and I found that having control brought out a different side of me.”
James Bourke agreed. “The director of any production starts off with a script and finishes up transforming that script into a production and I find that challenge most appealing; I wanted to know how that works. I chose my play because I like the contrast between the light and shade of the characters.”
“I applied last year,” said Stephen Hassett, “but I was too young, so I was determined that this year would be my chance. I chose my particular play because there are two very different ways in which I could direct it: a straightforward drama, or a comedy. I haven’t yet decided which route I’m going to adopt, but I liked the fact that there was that freedom to choose.”
The Young Directors will present their plays at the Mullingar Arts Centre on Friday April 26 at 8pm. Tickets are available from the box office at (044 ) 9347777, which is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 9.30pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.