Directing class presents ’10-Minute Plays’



A UNI directing class will present “An Evening of 10-Minute Plays” on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Strayer-Woods Bertha Martin Theatre.


On Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m., a UNI directing class will present “An Evening of 10-Minute Plays” in the Bertha Martin Theatre in Strayer-Wood.

The event will consist of 11 plays, each directed by one of the students in the class. The directing class is under the instruction of Assistant Professor Amy Osatinski, who first gave her students a 10-minute play assignment last year. However, those plays were not publicly performed.

“I decided to do a public performance because it raises the stakes for the students, and it gives actors more incentive to audition, as it culminates in a public performance, which can go on their resume,” Osatinski said. “I chose 10-minute plays as the assignment because it allows student directors to deal with the entire play in a manageable time frame. It is very different to direct a whole play than it is to direct a scene from a play. Students do both in the directing class.”

Directing a 10-minute play counts towards 20 percent of each student’s grade. Although students learn skills in the class that help them with their 10-minute plays, they are expected to rehearse outside of class.

“We had a build-up process to it,” said student director Adis Keserovic, a junior majoring in theater for youth and drama. “First, we had like five to seven minute scenes [. . .] So moving forward to 10-minute plays, it was more of a natural transition and much more easy overall, just because of the flow and knowing what went wrong, what went well.”

The students each chose a published play from Rod Library at the beginning of the semester. The only requirement was that the play contain two to three characters.

The student directors held a general audition back in February. No previous acting experience was required. While some of the students auditioned with a prepared monologue, others were given one by the student directors to act out. Some of the directors are even acting in their classmates’ plays.

“A big surprise was when I cast my two actors, Megan Lenstra and Bryce Palm. The characters that I assigned to each one are the complete opposite of who they actually are,” said student director Brittany Starr, who is a junior majoring in theater with an emphasis in performance. “It was challenging for me to try to bring out that character within them. It was also a little challenging for them to play something that they are absolutely not.”

“An Evening of 10-Minute Plays” will feature a variety of genres. The plays will explore many themes, including relationships, creativity, political correctness, death, sexuality and friendship.

Both Keserovic and Starr agree that one of the greatest challenges of directing their plays was finding times that worked for everyone’s schedule to rehearse. This would have been especially challenging for Starr, who is acting in one of her fellow student’s plays in addition to directing her own play.

Neither Keserovic nor Starr had very much directing experience prior to taking the directing class. They both said that the experience has taught them a lot.

“With theater and directing, it’s a leadership skill. So, you could move forward to other theatrical projects, shows, musicals, broadways, operas, film,” Keserovic said. “Or you could take it into the world of business, as well, because the leadership skills that you gain through managing people and knowing how to set up rehearsals is like setting up work schedules — all the skills I learned, I noticed I could transition into any other industry.”

“I really like directing,” Starr said. “That’s not necessarily my major or my emphasis, but I’ll definitely continue work on directing as an art form because I fell in love with it.”

These reactions are exactly why Osatinski chose to have her students direct the 10-minute plays.

“My favorite thing about the 10-minute plays is the confidence that it instills into the students,” Osatinski said. “After successfully directing an entire play, students are often more confident in their own abilities as a theatre artist and in their own artistic vision and process.”

Doors will open in the Bertha Martin Theatre at 7:15 p.m. Seating is limited.