An interview with Mrs. Zandi, by Jeffrey Baxter


Recently, I sat down with Seattle Lutheran’s drama director, Mrs. Zandi, to ask her about the upcoming play, and theatre at Seattle Lutheran in general. Here’s what she had to say.

So, the drama program has our latest performance on November 8th and 10th. Tell our viewing audience what we’ll be performing and what you’re excited about for SeaLu drama this semester.

We are performing three short plays about Shakespearean themes. The first play we are doing is called Pericles as Performed by Ms. Gower’s First Grade Class. It’s about a bunch of six year old students performing a Shakespeare paly which is really cute and funny, I think. The second one we’re doing is called When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet, which is about when a bunch of female Shakespearean characters come to Juliet’s house to give her romantic advice, mostly trying to tell her that she should not be dating Romeo, which she doesn’t like, of course. The third one is about two high school students who, basically, magic happens to them and they find themselves with Shakespearean characters in the modern world who have to be disposed of (laughs). So they’re pretty funny and I’m really excited about them.

How did you decide to do one acts this year and what is the appeal of doing one act plays?

I like one acts because a lot of times with one act plays you get to be a lot more experimental. You get to do things that you wouldn’t normally be able to spread across a 90 minute play. For example, Shakespearean characters coming alive and coming out of garbage cans is not necessarily something you could sustain for two hours, but for 90 minutes it works great and you get to do interesting things and a lot of people get to be involved, which is another reason I really like them. You can have a lot of people play a lot of parts in a lot of different shows, or you can have a different cast for every show and you can have as many people as you are able to have.

What do you think the most important aspect of making a show a success is?

In the very beginning when I chose a play I try to choose a play that fits the skill sets of all the actors that I know were going to have, so I know we’re doing something where they can really showcase their talents and what they are good at. So that’s the first thing. Because, if you end up choosing something that doesn’t work well with your cast, even if everybody’s working really hard, it can end up being not as good as you would want it to be. The second thing is, it’s weird to say, homework. That goes for the actors, the crew and myself. I think that when people go and see a play they don’t realize how many hours go into putting that piece of work together. So being prepared for every rehearsal is extremely important.

What is the process for a student who wants to be in drama to get involved in our next production?

Usually, we put up posters announcing auditions and we put it in the announcements about a week before we audition for a play. So, then if you are interested in acting you pick up a form to fill out and then you go get a grade check, and come to auditions. Sometimes, casting is flexible and we can have as many people as we want in it, but sometimes it’s not, so luckily there are lots of other jobs that people can do if they don’t end up acting on stage or if they don’t want to act on stage. If you are interested in working backstage or building sets, lights and sound, or things like that, you just have to come and talk to me and tell me you’re interested in doing that. Our backstage crew is a very valued and important part of the show, sometimes even more important than the actors. Obviously, our current show performs next week, but for our spring show, we’ll probably audition at the beginning of February, so that’s when well start over again.