Whose show is it anyway?
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The annual winter play at Alton High is an incredible event every year due to an enthusiastic student cast and a wonderful director, but what goes into accomplishing a successful show?
Many things factor into directing a play, including casting, setting rehearsal dates, costumes, props, and choosing what play to perform. All of these responsibilities fall onto one person, Alton High’s Kristi Doering.
Doering started with Alton High 14 years ago as a student teacher. “At first I just costumed for the musical and assisted with the plays wherever I was needed. Then I was made the “official assistant director” of the the plays and realized I wanted to be more than just that,” she contributed.
The students who have performed under the guidance of Doering rave over her directing abilities and understanding of how to direct fantastic plays. She takes time to understand the strengths of every student who auditions in order to assign them the role that is right for them.
“She’s fun and knows her stuff. She wants to make a good show but make it fun at the same time. She brings out the best in all of us,” stated Ben Simanski, sophomore at Alton High.
It is very apparent that Mrs. Doering has a fantastic reputation with everyone who has the pleasure of working with her, whether it be students or staff. “She is really good at casting the right people! She makes sure everyone is in the right character,” said Lauren Harders, a senior thespian at Alton High who has worked alongside Doering for four years as of the upcoming play.
The students available are a key part in what plays the school hosts. “ There are a lot of things that go into decision making; some being what kind of actors I have available, what genre of shows we have recently performed, what genre of shows are being produced in the local area theatres, and last how much money I have available to produce the show,” stated Doering.
At the end of the day, the decision as to what play to perform is down to Doering. The big decision shapes the next weeks for the students and Doering herself. Roles must be decided, props collected, and costumes sewn.
The students who work with Doering to put on the plays rave about her positive attitude and diligence. Every play has received positive reviews from the audience, but Doering’s favorites are “Under the Influence,” “Almost, Maine,” and “Noises Off!”
This winter’s grand play is titled “Whose Life is it Anyway” by Brian Clark and will be performed on the nights of Feb. 25-27, 2016. The play is centered around Ken Harrison, a well-known sculptor who gets into a tragic car accident, leaving him a paraplegic. The play represents his slow transcendence into depression as he loses his art, as well as his independence. It shows his internal fight with the U.S. law that forbids assisted suicide.
This play is sure to be a hit with the Alton High student body as well as parents and staff members, and it is all thanks to Kristi Doering and her exceptional cast and crew.