Meet our One Act Directors! Each is working hard to bring their pieces to life in new, unusual, and exciting ways!
Hannah Bowman is returning as Technical Director for her third MCCT show. Previously, she has served as Technical Director for Mousetrap and Stage Manager for the 2022 Halloween Revue. Before moving to Bloomington and joining MCCT, she has served various technical roles through Cathedral High School Theatre, Purdue University Theatre, and Summer Stock Stage in Indianapolis. Hannah works for Catalent Biologics in Manufacturing Sciences and Technology during the day using her PhD in Chemistry. When she isn’t participating in or watching theatre, she serves as the vice chair of the Young Professional of Bloomington steering committee through the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. I am the technical director for the whole showcase. I am grateful to the rest of the production team for asking me to work on this project and bring our dream to reality. I love the community that I have joined through MCCT. I can’t wait to experience the magic of live theatre again with this wonderful group of people. I hope that everyone sees that Bloomington has a strong, vibrant theatre community that anyone can be a part of. You don’t have to be a professional, you just need to have the passion.
Director: Grace Geng
Grace (Jiayi) Geng is a retired engineer, and has found her new passion in Theatre and Filmmaking. Her most recent performance was playing the Duke of Buckingham in Shakespeare”s Richard III with MCCT in Sumner, 2023. A native from P.R. China, Grace came to US as a graduate student in 1999 and got her M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a MBA from University of Illinois. Grace chose “Lady Balls” to direct because it packs with American culture and hot button topics, whether in sexuality, race or just being different in general. This will be her directorial debut.
I selected to direct “Bartleby and Bess” because it explores hopes and fears of burgeoning adult relationships; and how those hopes and fears expose our own potential expectations that ultimately may or may not be met or required for love to blossom. Also, simply put I found the play sweet in nature. Directing is both exciting and scary as hell! Nothing is more fulfilling than creating a safe space for actors to explore their craft, stretch their wings, and lift a playwright’s word off the page to create art. The scary side is questioning my own ability as a director. Have I offered the actors enough directorial insight based on their choices and my understanding of the play? Will the audience be engaged? Have I missed something? I hope people recognize that learning to love another also means learning to love that crazy the other person comes with and vise versa.
In a rapidly changing world, where the pace of life often leaves us breathless, the essence of human connection remains a constant need. “Companions” by Rob Bola beautifully captures this sentiment, delving into the challenges of aging and the accompanying loneliness. Through the evolving relationship between Elizabeth and Harold, the narrative underscores the universal yearning for solace, understanding, and genuine companionship.
I chose to direct “Companions” because it resonated deeply with the timeless truths of human existence. The play serves as a testament to the profound impact of heartfelt interactions and the bridges that connect different generations. In a society where fleeting engagements often dominate, “Companions” reminds us of the enduring value of genuine bonds.
The thrill of directing lies in the collaboration with actors, witnessing their transformative journey from script to stage. Their interpretations breathe life into characters, enriching the narrative and making the directorial process deeply rewarding. Yet, with this excitement comes the responsibility of ensuring that the story’s essence truly connects with the audience, a task both challenging and fulfilling.
But what do I hope audiences take away from “Companions”? A deeper appreciation for the significance of genuine human connection, especially as we confront the complexities of growing older. I hope the audience discovers the beauty of shared experiences and the importance of cherishing the bonds we form. In the end, it’s the simple, genuine interactions that leave the most lasting impact. May “Companions” inspire you to value these connections and seek out moments of genuine companionship in your own life.
Director: Kenny Hertling
Shows: Nights from Now On/First Date
Kenny Hertling is ecstatic to embark on his first stage direction of these two short plays! Having worked with Monroe County Civic Theatre for three years, he is excited to see this type of work taking shape in the community. As directo for both “Nights From Now On” and “First Date”, I can tell you that there is a unique sense of human intimacy that we are looking forward to sharing with you. I chose to direct these plays because they both have the potential to show true connections between human beings, despite their drastically different contexts. When it comes to directing, particularly these two pieces, I am absolutely thrilled to get to work with a small cast to really dive into the characters and the scene work. Being able to see strong character development and relationships building on stage thrills me and I hope these will thrill you too! I hope that you all are able to enjoy the reality of both pieces as we attempt to draw you into connection with the rest of humanity, fanciful or otherwise.
I will perform the piece “My Dream” which is a poem I wrote about my passion of wanting more equality in the world. What excites me the most about this piece is being able to share my thoughts as a female voice. The thing that intimidates me is hoping that the audience will feel impacted by my message to work for change and for it to be relatable to the audience. I hope people come away from my piece feeling like their voice is heard and feeling called to work as a society to make the world a better and equal place for everyone.