Waynesburg thespians take the stage once again this semester with the one-act performance “Courting 101,” directed by senior biblical ministries major and minor in theater, Heather Ratcliff.
In her course, directing for the stage, instructed by Professor Edward Powers, Ratcliff has received the opportunity to step into the new position of director. After two one-act plays and three full plays here at Waynesburg, Ratcliff is excited and is enjoying her new experience.
“Courting 101,” is a compact comedy about the mysteries of love and the joys of dating. The actors and actresses will be portraying brief scenes that will then be reviewed by an instructor to advise with the do’s and do-nots of relationships. Ratcliff chose this show for its comical aspects, which she tends to gravitate more towards, and with the expectations of having good audience reaction.
“Every show is unique in and of itself,” Powers stated. “The audience, I think is going to identify with the characters who are on the dates.”
One of the actors in this performance is Jim Gallucci, a senior pre-med major. This will be his sixth performance at Waynesburg University. The character that Gallucci is portraying is very timid and is conflicted on how to “woo” a girl.
“I think this play has a lot of relatability to both guys and gals. It just shows the stereotypical mindset of both parties and is relatable enough to both be funny and make someone feel like ‘Yeah, I’ve been there in a relationship!’” Gallucci states.
With the large participation in the performance “And Then There Were None,” which was a dramatic mystery that debuted a few weeks prior to “Courting 101,” the transition between the genres was difficult. Moving from serious and solemn tones to sarcastic and humorous tones is not an easy feat, Ratcliff explained.
Despite the challenge, she is very pleased with the efforts and talents that her performers are putting towards their rehearsals. In her new position, she is also grateful for the mentor she has in Powers. She has described him as very helpful throughout the process. Powers is proud of how far Ratcliff has come.
“I like the way she works with her actors,” Powers commented.
He feels that her career path in youth ministries will lead her to using the directing skills that she is gaining from these experiences.
“I think they respect her; I don’t think they are challenging her,” Powers said.
Ratcliff’s hope is to go into full-time camp ministry after graduation.
“I think having a minor in theater, one, is just helpful in being able to work a little better if I’m running skits … but also theater has just been something that has helped me with being able to speak in front of people.”
Overall, the experience that Ratcliff has had through directing “Courting 101,” has been very beneficial in her eyes. Even though she is starting to feel the nerves, she is very excited for an audience to experience the show as well.
“It’s a very funny show,” Ratcliff states. “I think if you are just looking for something to just get away for a little and just laugh, a lot.” Ratcliff continues, “I would recommend coming to ‘Courting 101.’”
“Courting 101,” will premier in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. Admission is free for all.