Performance Studio Series gives students directing experience

Courtesy /

Courtesy /

Jacob Creswell

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 17, Grand Valley State University theatre students showcased their directing, acting and producing skills in student-led productions of “The Actor’s Nightmare” and “Stuart Little.” The shows ran through Jan. 20, with opportunities for single and double bills.

Each show was directed by a senior theatre student. “Stuart Little” was directed by Rachel Renaud, and “The Actor’s Nightmare” was directed by Tyler DeGood. 

These two shows are part of GVSU’s Performance Studio Series, which gives theatre students the opportunity to direct smaller productions. GVSU’s Box Office and Program Technician Jack Lane said that the series is “an opportunity (for) GVSU Theatre students (to) hone their skills in all aspects of theatre.” 

According to Lane, these productions are “fully staged, student directed and acted” by GVSU students with minimal faculty involvement.

It’s not just the directing, acting and production that the students are involved in. Lane said the students handled several behind-the-scenes aspects of the production, including advertising, managing, auditioning, lighting and audio. 

“Other productions that the faculty is involved with has staff that have been trained,” said Lane. In the Performance Studio Series, the students are managing every aspect of the production.

Lane encouraged students to attend the series, stating that the shows can impact the lives of viewers in multiple ways.

“Both shows are fun,” Lane said. “GVSU students should attend because all live theatre impacts their lives. It is always different… it gives them insight into other’s lives.”

“Stuart Little” is about a boy named Stuart who is born to an ordinary family in New York City and is is normal in every way except that he is only four inches high and looks exactly like a mouse.

“The Actor’s Nightmare” is a comic play where an accountant is confused for an understudy and must perform without knowing the lines.

The next Performance Studio Series production, God of Carnage, will be held Feb. 21 through 24 at the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre with directing by Ron Boudreau. Tickets can be purchased at the box office.