LT prepares for annual Donna Mavros Festival

Jeanne Mardegan, Freelance writer

The LT Theatre Board is putting on their annual Donna Mavros Festival as a way to give senior students a chance at directing.

“We are really quite ‘hands off’ when it comes to this production,” Michael Kuehl, producer, said. “We want the directors to get the fullest idea of what directing a show is really like.”

From March 12-14, three one-act plays will be performing in the Reber Center, located at 100 S. Brainard Avenue, LaGrange, IL. After going through a competitive interview process, the producers choose three students to cast and direct the plays of their choice.  

“We pick the directors and help guide them toward scripts if they need it, which they usually don’t,” he said. “We then help them schedule time in the theaters to rehearse, and try to make sure they have what they need to put on the show.” 

This production was created years ago by Donna Mavros, an LT Theatre teacher of 32 years, as a way to give students a chance to go through the directing process from start to finish, and put on a show for students by students. It allows for new ideas to be brought to the table, and also smaller shows get a chance to shine on stage.

Meghan Lajewski ‘20 is one of the seniors to take on the role of directing for the upcoming showcase. As someone who is normally found onstage, the transition from actor to director has been new, she said.

“The only time I’ve directed before was for Tens by Teens last year, and while there were small props and ‘costumes’, directing for Mavros is completely different,” Lajewski said. “Now I have to think about props, blocking, sound effects, lighting, and everything in between.”

Lajewski is putting on a production of “The Dumb Waiter” by Harold Pinter. The play is about two hitmen waiting for their next assignment, and discussing how far one would go before drawing the line. Working behind the scenes is a great learning experience, she said.

“I hope to learn more about the technical aspects as well. That’s how I got started in theatre, and it seems like a perfect way to end my senior year finishing with it, too,” Lajewski said.