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Students direct one-act plays at CVU

Observer courtesy photo A student rehearses a scene in 'The Final Dress Rehearsal'.
Observer courtesy photo
A student rehearses a scene in ‘The Final Dress Rehearsal’.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Locals can watch young directors-in-the-making present their work this weekend during Champlain Valley Union High’s spring theater performance.

Students direct four comedy one-act plays, a biennial CVU event.

“It’s interesting to see what students will bring as a director to their shows, and it’s a  great opportunity for the students,” said Theater Director Candy Padula. “Because you’ve got four different directors directing four different shows, it helps to bring an additional flair and variety. I think it will overall be a really enjoyable evening.”

Padula selects the directors and the plays they take on.

Williston resident Mishka Rehak will be at the helm of one of the plays, “The Still Alarm,” which follows two friends who don’t promptly exit their hotel room during a fire.

Rehak said she first got involved in theater in fifth grade. She said Padula has helped with technical considerations but has let students take the lead.

“It’s really cool to see how much students have been able to put together, the actors and directors and props team and everyone on the set crew,” she said.

Rehak said the casting process was the most eye-opening for her.

“It was interesting to sit on the other side and see how people benefit from characteristics of their audition, and why casting goes a certain way,” she said. “It’s less about how good or bad you are and more about which characters fit you best.”

Padula described Rehak as a “fearless” actress, and said that’s a good quality in a director as well.

“She is a very interesting actress,” Padula said. “I have often cast her as characters that are unusual and she always does something really exciting on stage. She often surprises me, which is a very nice quality in an actor.”

Observer courtesy photo Student director Mishka Rehak (foreground) watches a dress rehearsal of her play, ‘The Still Alarm,’ set to debut this weekend along with three-other student-directed comedy one-acts.
Observer courtesy photo
Student director Mishka Rehak (foreground) watches a dress rehearsal of her play, ‘The Still Alarm,’ set to debut this weekend along with three-other student-directed comedy one-acts.

Padula said Rehak has been involved with theater for years, both onstage and behind it.

“I always hope as a director (each student) will bring an interesting perspective to their show, and I think she’s doing a very nice job with that,” Padula said.

The one-acts will debut Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Performances are also set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13.

Also on the roster for the weekend: “The Final Dress Rehearsal,” directed by senior Bridget Kerr; “Baby,” directed by senior Anna Cataldo; and “The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year,” directed by Meg Young.

A cadre of Williston residents are also involved, both in front of and behind the curtain.

Padula said students have been rehearsing for two months, and just performed their plays in front of their fellow actors.

“It was quite an uproarious reaction we were getting from our audience of fellow actors,” Padula said. “It will be an entertaining evening with a really nice variety of shows.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling 482-6991.