Senior theatre major chosen to direct first-year showcase

Mallory Steffey, Contributing Writer

When Rodney West ’17 was chosen to direct the first-year showcase, he knew he wanted to do something comedic. West, a theatre major and creative writing and arts entrepreneurship minor, began exploring David Ives’ collection of short works titled “All in the Timing,” he found much more than first meets the eye. Beyond the puns and slapstick comedy, West uncovered a narrative which parallels the first-year journey.

“The longer I spent with the script, the more I came to understand it as a double-edged sword,” West said.

He describes the comedy of the scenes as not only serving to entertain, but also to enlighten the cast, crew, and audience about their individual journeys–how they are “all in the timing.” The intricacies and coincidences of life which lead individuals to their pasts, presents, and futures is the very meat of the showcase.

Life, West goes on, is about transformations, and perhaps this is most true in one’s first semester at college. The showcase describes transformations as simple as happy to sad or motivated to unmotivated, and as complicated as ignorant to enlightened. West is less interested in the outcome of these scenarios than he is in the transformation through which it occurs.

Likewise, in choosing these selections of scenes for the first-year showcase, West hopes to describe the situations first-year students everywhere find themselves facing: fitting in, sinking or (hopefully) swimming, and challenging beliefs, ideas, and understandings of the world. Transformations bloom in every direction. The person a student is when they walk through the Christy Mathewson Gates for the first time and who he or she is the moment they last step foot on University soil is far less important than the changes–the personal growth, the success, the heartbreak–that occurred while they still sang ’Ray for the Orange and the Blue.

“All in the Timing” will show on Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sept. 24 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Tustin Studio Theatre.

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