Student Director Brings 'And Stuff' to the Stage with Black Box Grant

Posted: December 06, 2019 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Students performing "...And Stuff..."For many theatre students, the opportunity to direct their own project is a distant dream, but thanks to Southern Utah University’s Black Box Grant program, that dream has become a reality for one directing student. This fall, Akemi Nakashima has been given the opportunity to put on ...And Stuff… by Peter Dee, a play she has always wanted to direct.

“I fell in love with this show by accident,” said Nakashima. “I found myself relating to characters left and right and realizing that the play, in essence, was about me; a teenager getting ready to be an adult and not knowing what was going on.”

The play consists of several scenes and monologues, depicting teenagers at various stages of young adulthood as they explore what it means to grow up and the often confusing and frustrating experiences that come along with the transition into being an adult. 

Originally written in the 1980s, Nakashima found the play universally moving, and has been in love with the idea of performing the full play since high school. 

“The last quarter of school in my theatre class was spent organizing a director’s book on a one-act play,” said Nakashima. “I cut down ...And Stuff... and worked away. Since then, I have wanted the opportunity to mount a full production of the play.”

Now at SUU, Nakashima has been able to take advantage of this program to create a piece that has always had deep meaning to her. Serving as both director and producer, she is able to have a hand over all aspects of the production, an opportunity that has been extremely exciting for her. 

“I have loved the chance to produce this play that I hold so dear to my heart, and to be able to have such a high level of control over every aspect of the production,” said Nakashima.

Equipped with a cast of eleven theatre students, most of which are freshmen and sophomores performing in their first production at SUU, and a small production team, Nakashima and crew are excited to bring this show to audiences. 

“In ...And Stuff… we’re showing our audience the impact that young adults and teenagers have on the world,” said actor Lydia Butler. “We can and are making a difference.”

“This show has been a really powerful experience,” added actor Jove Tripp-Thompson.

The Black Box Grant Program seeks to foster creative experimentation with performance forms and processes by funding projects that emphasize content over spectacle and work with limited resources in stripped-down spaces. Learn more about SUU’s Theatre program and Black Box Grants

Tags: Theatre Arts and Dance

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