Directing from the heart

By: 03.06.2017 Arts & Entertainment 367 Views

Senior theater student at UI named alternate in directing competition at theater festival

Kara Billington

Argonaut

Hunter Price, a senior working toward a B.F.A in theatrer at the University of Idaho, took his directing skills to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and returned with two awards.

In his final year at UI and his first year participating in the competition, Price was awarded the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC) Meritorious Achievement Award for directing and was named the SDC Regional Alternate.

Price competed against 20 other student directors from the Northwest including three of his classmates.

In this competition, the students take on all aspects of directing a play, from casting to props to scheduling rehearsals. Participants in the SDC competition choose from a list of plays and are then given a section of that play to produce any way they choose.

Price picked the play “Rag and Bone” by Noah Haidle and was given the first three scenes to practice and present.

He said he was drawn to the play because he remembered reading it as a freshman and being deeply moved.

“I read through all the other plays on the list and I would always keep coming back to ‘Rag and Bone,’” Price said. “I just went with my gut on it.”

Price said he also felt a particular connection to the play as it mirrored his own personal journey.

“It’s a play about people with hearts and without hearts, and what it means to feel and not to feel and what you feel for,” Price said. “Trying to figure out what’s going on with my heart while working on this play was very interesting.”

Throughout the competition, Price said he received feedback and suggestions from the judges to consider and incorporate into his next presentation.

“Everything was always in process; we were constantly working on the play throughout the week,” he said.

Price said the hardest part was trying to take notes without changing the personal meaning behind the play.

“I had to figure out how best to implement the notes without changing it to fit their vision, but using it to make the play better and tell the best story,” Price said.

While Price was making adjustments all week, it wasn’t all work and no fun for him. He said he had a good time interacting with the other student directors as well.

“It was a very hard-working group of students so working with all these people from all over our region really made me believe in the artistic community,” he said.

Price said the most important lesson he learned was to love his work and do the best he could do.

“If you love a play enough, it will happen no matter what obstacles get thrown in the way,” he said. “I had to remember to make my play the best I could, and to not fit it to someone else’s vision.”

Price said he owes his success to his cast.

“I got really lucky with my cast,” he said. “Everybody who was working with me cared about the play and believed in it.”

He said pursuing beauty was another key to his success.

“If I thought something was beautiful, I was just banking on the fact that someone else in the audience thought that was beautiful as well,” Price said.

The KCACTF National Festival April 16 to 22 will be held inWashington, D.C. and Price will be ready to attend if he is called upon as alternate.

Kara Billington can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @K_Billington3

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