By Tim Alford, Transcript Reporter
As seniors near the end of their last semester at OWU, those graduating with theater degrees are finishing their senior projects, and juniors are beginning to plan their projects for the upcoming academic year.
These projects are required of senior theater majors and have to be approved by the faculty in the theater department.
Senior Edmund Howland said there is an “incredible range in size and scope” for projects seniors can choose.
“For example, my senior project is doing the lighting design for a main-stage show, which is directed by department faculty,” he said.
“However, other projects include directing small shows, writing research papers or approved outside internships.”
Howland said he chose his project because lighting design is his concentration within theater. His senior project is creating the lighting design for “Ring Round the Moon,” which is the final main stage show for the 2011-2012 season.
“The projects are meant as a demonstration of everything we have learned in our time at Ohio Wesleyan,” he said.
“I chose this project because it is the best reflection of my abilities as a designer, as well as the biggest challenge as an artist that I can face here before graduating and moving out into the world.”
Junior Leah Shaeffer is focusing on directing for her senior project. She said she will be working with junior Ellie Bartz to perform the scenes in her project.
“For my senior project, I will be directing Ellie in a few scenes and monologues from plays written by American woman playwrights of the past century,” Shaeffer said.
“Each scene will relate to an experience or struggle that American women continue to face in today’s world, focusing on issues such as the ongoing stigma attached to lesbianism, physical, verbal and sexual abuse or women, familial relationships, and communities formed between women, and more.”
She said her project will be combined with her honors project, where she is doing a research project on American woman playwrights and their influence on the feminist movement.
She said she is hoping to have guest speakers from female-centric organizations on campus and in the community introduce each scene with a short statement about the issues the scene will encompass.
“I chose to do this project because during my time at OWU, I have become very passionate about feminism and women’s issues, and I feel that there is a lack of connections between the theater arts and the feminist movement on campus,” she said.
She said this project will also serve as her house project for the Women’s House, where she will be a third-year resident. She said her project is currently untitled.
Shaeffer said her project will be performed in the fall semester of 2012 and Howland said “Ring Round the Moon” will be performed April 13, 14, 20, and 12 at 8 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m.
“I am really excited to work on a project that is really my own rather than part of the department season or a class,” Shaeffer said. “I hope to involve many different groups on campus and in the surrounding community, and to raise awareness and support for both the arts and the feminist movement.”
“I really couldn’t be more excited for this production,” Howland said. “Quite literally this is what I do, and having the chance to do it is absolutely incredible. To be able to come to the table and add my artistic vision to a group of professional theater artists and be taken seriously carries amazingly powerful sense of validation.”