Student to direct show in spring

IUS Horizon

Stephen Minotti
Stephen Minotti

Few IUS students have the honor of directing their own play while they’re at IU Southeast. One of them is Stephen Minotti, theatre senior.

He’s directing “The Nerd” in April 2009 in the Robinson Theatre. It’s a play written by Larry Shue.

Minotti said the play is a ridiculous, goofy comedy.

As a director, he said he basically combines all the elements of the play. “I have to have a clear concept of how it all comes together,” he said. “If anyone is off, it’s not going to make any sense.”

Some of his other responsibilities include casting, keeping up with the designers and scheduling all of the events.

Scheduling includes knowing when certain things, such as practice times, must take place. It also means making sure the cast and crew know when to be working.

Minotti said he’s not nervous to be a director, but he is a little nervous to meet with the designers.

“Working with the designers means I’ll work with people I’ve never met before,” he said. “I know and work with most of everyone else since they’re my peers. I’m more comfy in that setting.”

He also said there is one disadvantage to working with his peers. He said he is afraid to establish that he is in control of them since he’s worked with them for so long.

Minotti has been in the theatre department since August 2005. He never took a theatre class while he was in high school.

He graduated from Silver Creek High School. He said the reason he never got into theatre was because he was so busy with sports. He said he was very involved with the track team.

One thing from high school inspired him to major in theatre. He said he went on a trip to Washington D.C. during his senior year to see “Big River.”

He said it was inspiring because he saw how great theatre could be. “All I saw before was high school stuff, which isn’t exactly the best,” he said.

Minotti said his favorite plays are classical. “It’s what theatre really is,” he said. “It’s acting without all the special effects.”

As for experience, Minotti has directed in some of his theatre classes. He was in a leadership position in “The Good Doctor,” which premiered at IU Southeast in April.

In “The House of Blue Leaves,” a play the IUS Theatre Department hosted in March, Minotti was a stage manager.

He said being a stage manager was difficult. “I don’t see how people can do it,” he said. “The stage manager does the stuff the director can’t do.”

Minotti said becoming a professional director is a possible career choice.

“I hope to eventually move on to a place with a larger theatre,” he said. “I’d like to work on Broadway. I think I have what it takes.”

When it comes to the next step toward that goal, he said he would like to get an internship at Actor’s Theatre in Louisville, Ky.

Directing isn’t everything. Acting is an important part of his work too.

“I plan on acting and directing,” Minotti said. “Acting is difficult to get into, but directing is tougher to get into.”

He said it’ll take a lot of work to get into acting. He said a good actor should have a lot of contacts, a good resume and needs to practice in order to build as an actor.

Minotti said he doesn’t have any favorite actors. He said he likes British actors in particular.

Currently, Minotti is playing a lead in “The Shadow Box,” written by Michael Cristofer.

Jim Hesselman, assistant professor of theatre, is directing the play. He said Minotti has done great work.

“He’s really come further in one year than some students come in five years,” Hesselman said.

Minotti said the theatre department is doing great work, especially with the work he’s put into “The Shadow Box.”

“I don’t think people realize how great the quality is,” Minotti said. “I don’t get paid for this. We put as much work and time into our work as a nursing major would.”

The opening night of “The Shadow Box” is Friday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Robinson Theatre.

By JOSEPH DEVER
Staff Writer
jwdever@ius.edu