"Notes from the Student Director."
In the bustling world of curricular and extra-curricular Drama and Theatre at SGGS, students often find themselves taking on roles both on and off the stage. One such passionate student director, Mika Debowska, recently took the helm to direct our latest school play, "The Light Burns Blue." From auditions to curtain calls, Mika shares her reflections and an insider's view of the intricate process that transforms a script into a captivating live performance.
"At the end of Year 11, I began plans for directing ‘The Light Burns Blue’. I had found the script a few months prior and once given the support of the drama department, I had millions of ideas on what to do and how to do it. I want to pursue a career directing in the theatre but with this being my first time directing a play, I had frankly no idea what I was doing, so I pulled techniques from every drama club and lesson I had ever had, and went round bugging every director and facilitator I knew for advice. I brought my tattered copy of the script everywhere with me, and by the time September rolled around I had refined my ideas to a tee.
And then the first meeting back, we completely changed the staging. This meant I spent every second of the newly earned privilege of free periods working on re-blocking each tiny moment, along with getting started with auditions that very same week. Being someone who likes to organise things well, I initially found the process challenging. I hadn’t anticipated quite how much the play would change from my initial ideas. However, I am immensely proud of how it ended up, thanks to the incredible collaboration from the cast. Each day, the rehearsal room was full of new ideas and the piece kept absorbing everyone’s creativity.
I think this experience has really taught me to trust the process, but also trust myself and my ideas. Having a cast and crew rely on my input so heavily, I had to know what I was saying and why I was saying it. Having their faith in me really allowed me to own this project without doubting myself as much as I think I would have done in the past. Going forward, I’m so excited for whatever work will pop up next, and I look forward to taking control of projects with improved confidence now. I’d also like to say how grateful I am to the fantastic drama department for this opportunity, and thank the backstage crew, the sixth form designers, and of course the cast."