Kari Hilmes directs play for theater course

Kari Hilmes directs play for theater course

Senior theater major Kari Hilmes directed a play called “The M Word,” which was performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday as part of an independent study course called Directing.

Patti Heiman, instructor of theater and theater production manager, taught Hilmes this semester in the class, which the play is being performed for.

Being the only student in the class, Hilmes said it was difficult at times because she didn’t get to hear other students’ views.

“It wasn’t on the time table, but I have to take it to get my degree, so I knew I was going to have to take it as an independent study,” Hilmes said. “It hasn’t been as beneficial because there are a lot of things you can learn from other directors, so I didn’t get to see how my colleagues would do some things.”

While taking the directing class, Hilmes learned about character and script analysis, she had auditions to cast two members for the play and she scheduled practices for the performers.

Out of six scripts chosen by Heiman, Hilmes selected what she calls a short, absurd, romantic comedy that is about a marriage proposal.

Hilmes is nervous for the performance because she is being graded on it for the class, but she is comfortable to present the play.

“Being an actress has helped me be a better director because I know when I’m on the actress side of things, like, how directors talk … or what frustrates me about a director,” Hilmes said. “So, I know what not to do to frustrate my actors because I would be frustrated if I were in their shoes. I think once I graduate … I’ll be able to look at a scene or characters differently.”

Freshman Abby Jones was chosen for one of the two parts for the play and senior Aaron Schopper was picked to play the other.

“I play a woman,” Jones said. “She’s a very determined character. The story is about how a man is proposing to her and she’s intimidating and cares a lot about her job.”

Schopper said he plays a businessman trying to be professional, but is maybe more feminine than the female lead.

“I think it’s hilarious,” Schopper said. “It’s a fast pace and funny show.”

Jones and Schopper both like how Hilmes directed the show.

“I think that Kari is the type of director that everybody should start with,” Schopper said. “She’s very encouraging, but she also tries to get the best work out of you. So, if you’re into theater, or want to start theater, you should always have a director like Kari.”