Though campus audiences are used to students taking the stage as actors, it is a little rarer to find them in the director's chair. This semester, however, students enrolled in Professor of Theater Davis Robinson's directing class learned the tricks of the trade and will showcase their self-produced scenes Monday and Tuesday.

Students were asked to pick a 10 to 12 minute scene from a play of their choice to analyze and examine from a director's perspective. Auditions were held earlier this fall to find students who were interested in being actors for the projects. Along with blocking, directors were also responsible for procuring costumes and props for their performances.

The students' objectives were to learn how to lead student actors, as well as how to bring the text to life on stage.

"As directors, the students learn how to communicate with actors," said Robinson.

Students were given several parameters in this regard.

"The scenes should avoid too much language challenge, have at least two bodies on stage at one time, and have few technical or design challenges," said Robinson.

Each individual performance will include a wide range of styles and themes.

First year Rickey Larke said, "Some people had favorite plays they wanted to do from high school. I didn't have a favorite play. I chose 'Den of Thieves' by Stephen Adly Guirgis, because I wanted something quirky and funny as well as intelligent."

"Den of Thieves," like many of the other student productions, incorporates modern language and a daring thematic focus.

One of the other productions is junior Jenni Stobiecki's scene from "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)," which focuses on the invention of the vibrator around the turn of the 20th century.

"The theme involves losing human interaction," said Stobiecki. "As a director, it made me question how you handle intimacy on stage."

As they began preparing their projects, the students discovered what it meant to fill the seat of the director.

"The first rehearsals are awkward," said Stobiecki. "It's about getting comfortable and bringing actors and directors together. You are one of them, not set apart."

While rehearsing, the director and actors received 30 minutes to go over the scene and get input from Robinson and fellow classmates.

"Collaboration is important in directing," said Greg Rosen '14.

The students often found they were having similar struggles with their projects.

"Watching others helps me prepare," said Larke. "Knowing that others have similar problems eases the stress."

The student directors who also act said that the class has improved their performance on stage.

"The directing project helps me as an actor; I'm able to know what the director is looking for," said Stobiecki.

"A director can make for a better actor," added Rosen. "I can find what works and what doesn't work."

The performances will be held in Wish Theatre on December 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are not required, but seating will be limited.