Fall lab play produced by students

Ruth Demeke, Staff Writer

“Stories of Mad People Doing Bad Things,” the fall lab play written by senior Zachary Dulny and directed by junior Claire Laws and senior Parker Baughman opened on Oct. 17 in the Little Theatre.

The lab play was a new program featuring a student-run production. It was performed in the Little Theatre or in the Greg Parker Auditorium. One lab play is to be presented each semester. No adults were involved in rehearsals or in tech work.  

“Stories of Mad People Doing Bad Things” consisted of seven, short unrelated scenes that together created a look at how society treats its outcasts.

“ why humans do the things they do and why they interact the way they interact,” Laws said.

The characters Dulny created all sprung from his imagination.

“There are these characters in my head that stop these gears from turning,” Dulny said. “I wrote these characters into a play so they would get out of my head.” 

Laws, who has been involved in theater since she was in fourth grade, was excited to direct the fall lab play this year. Both directors took on this responsibility in addition to being IB Diploma candidates. Laws and Baughman blocked the play, which is a precise way of staging actors. They also controlled the audition process and the creation of the rehearsal schedule. 

“There’s so much excitement that comes out of having something that’s completely your own creation, that you made from the ground up,” Laws said. 

“There are these characters in my head that stop these gears from turning.”

— Zachary Dulny

According to Baughman, directing gave them a chance to take full charge. They are the ones who helped the cast and made final decisions. 

“Everything is your responsibility,” Laws said. “When you’re directing, you have to know the show inside and out.”

Instead of following theater director Jason Coats’ schedule, student directors are more understanding of busy students and relate to what the actors go through, balancing the schedule with homework and activities outside of the play. 

“ has everything blocked, preplanned and all laid out,” junior Lillian Bowen said. “For a lab play… are more lenient because they also .”

One of the three characters Bowen plays was Charlene, the mother of a child who had recently slipped into a coma. The mother’s deep emotions challenged Bowen’s acting abilities.

“Charlene really tests my emotional limits,” Bowen said. “The whole time she is very distraught and very upset, meanwhile her husband has other intentions planned.”

The play brought a view to the working of one’s head, and the hard decisions a person can make. 

The two-night run of the play closed on Oct. 18.