Student director takes helm for first theatre production of season "Marjorie Prime"
Lee University theatre production “Marjorie Prime” is breaking tradition this season with the appointment of a student director.
Senior theatre major Caleb Siler was chosen by faculty to oversee his peers and work with staff as the first student director since 2012.
“Whenever I found out I was a student director, I was very shocked,” Siler said. “I dropped all the props I was holding after D. Buck asked.”
Assistant Professor of Theatre Dan Buck said Siler’s skills made the decision an easy one.
“Caleb’s the guy who’s not just going to make a career out of theatre, but he’s going to influence the field,” Buck said.
As Siler’s mentor, Buck said he felt spoiled by his wholehearted trust in his creative decisions. He also said that the students shared his confidence in Siler.
“I don’t know that he recognizes it, but they do not see him on their level,” Buck said. “They really respect his vision and his experience.”
Elizabeth Davenport, the junior theatre major playing Marjorie, said she agrees with Buck’s statement based on her own experience working with Siler.
“It makes a really cool dynamic to have a director who’s so in tune with how the actors originally feel concerning their relationships with technology.” Davenport said.
Davenport said she felt Siler’s age helped when interpreting the modern content of the play, which centers around an elderly woman's relationship with an artificial intelligence lookalike of her deceased husband.
“Caleb is very intentional about being hands-on with our conversations and talking about the technology,” Davenport said.
Siler said he owed his smooth directing experience not to himself but to all the people involved.
“Everyone knows their job and is doing their job to the best of their ability,” Siler said. “They are really respecting the process.”
Siler said he connects with “Marjorie Prime” and shows his connection on the stage.
“Sometimes I don’t know how to speak in real life,” Siler said. “This is the one play that I feel like I can truly speak through.”
“Marjorie Prime” will be performed in the Buzz Oates Black Box Theater. Tickets can be reserved at the box office in the Communication Arts Building.