The Williams Baptist University theatre program will start the 2019-20 season with a student-directed production. WBU senior Melanie McKuin is directing two short plays that will be staged Oct. 15 in Startup Chapel.
“We have done student-directed productions in the past, but haven’t lately. I finally got a student brave enough,” said Melinda Williams, assistant professor of communication arts.
McKuin has put together two short shows, Ferris Wheel by Mary Miller and Yesterday’s Window by Chiori Miyagawa, into a production she has titled, “In the Midst of Loneliness.”
“The most prominent emotion these two plays reveal is that of loneliness. Loneliness comes in all shapes and sizes and affects people in a multitude of ways, and I believe these two pieces reflect that perfectly,” McKuin said.
Appearing in the production are: Scarlett James, Corynna Cliff and Hannah Meyers in Yesterday’s Window, and Ryan Drendel and Dana Haney in Ferris Wheel.
McKuin has appeared on the WBU stage in a past production of Silent Sky, but this show will mark her debut as a director. “This directing experience has been completely eye-opening. Not only do I possess a deeper love for the theatre, but a profound understanding of the intricacies that come together to create a show,” McKuin said.
The two plays deal with loneliness in different ways. Yesterday’s Window is a poetic play about a woman and her imaginary daughter, and the outside world that intrudes on their loving relationship, which is full of wonder and joy.
On the other hand, Ferris Wheel is the unlikely love story of two lonely people who are forced to ride together on an old country Ferris wheel. She’s afraid of heights. He’s afraid to give up smoking. They are both afraid of each other.
McKuin is from Dexter, Mo., and the daughter of Barry and Kim McKuin. She is pursuing a B.A. in English with a minor in speech communications. She is the president of Sigma Tau Delta and the Student Government Association at WBU, and a member of the women’s basketball team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The production will be Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in WBU’s Startup Chapel. A reception will follow. There is no charge to attend the play or the reception, and the public is invited.