Daring to Direct

Delaney Eiland '22 understood she was taking on a lot when she decided to produce, cast, star in and direct a musical on her own at Brooks for her theater independent course.

"I knew that would be overwhelming," she said of making her directorial debut, in the Center for the Arts on April 14, with the musical The Mad Ones. "I've done most of the elements in the process of making a show except that."

But with a small group of friends for support, and a big vision of what the show could be, she pulled together what Director of Theater Meghan Hill called a "beautiful, heart-wrenching production."

See a full album of photos from The Mad Ones April 14, 2022 show

For the self-described "intense person," The Mad Ones plot (about a high school valedictorian and her best friend, who is killed in a car accident just before graduation) was a perfect fit.

And the experience Eiland earned assistant directing last spring's High School Musical production, as well as some select scenes on her own, were great training.

Still, the challenge was daunting. Thankfully Eiland was far from alone in tackling it. "Mrs. Hill definitely offered me lots of guidance to help me find my way, for which I am eternally grateful," she said. "And my cast and crew really supported me through this process."

Casting actually ended up being Eiland's favorite of all the elements involved in making the musical. "The process of casting can be very intimidating; the idea that the show depends on people and you are choosing those people," she said. Saunders Haley '22, Amy Mojica '22, and Katharine Gutkoski '22 "really rose to the occasion of this difficult show," she declared. "I am so proud of all of them!"

Directing, it seems, has made quite the impression on Eiland, who dreams of a career in theater or television. "I enjoy making all the calls while having people there to support and educate me on my choices," she said. "As an actor, you don't learn about a show's entire process, but as a director, you learn a new thing every single minute that you are involved. ...It's insanely difficult to pinpoint just one thing when I have learned so much!"

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