By Kristin Schultz
It’s on the mind of most high school seniors: getting into college. While the process may be stressful in real life, the Niskayuna Drama Club aims to bring levity to the ordeal in its production of “13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview.”
The one-act play lasts for about 45 laugh-worthy minutes and replaces the club’s annual Monologue Night.
“It’s going to be a fun night,” said co-director Mackenzie Denofio.
The performance opens as two university admissions officers are informed that they must accept only one additional student for the incoming freshman class. They begrudgingly call candidates from the wait list and endure one awkward interview after another.
First up is Kimberly, a wannabe reality television star who puts on a gum-smacking, empty-headed, ill-mannered routine for the cameras.
Also among the slate of candidates is Kelly, an applicant who brings all the required paperwork — essay, recommendations, etc. — which turn out to be rudimentary drawings that she pulls from her shoes.
Another candidate cannot stay awake while still another shows up as a magician — a bad one.
At the end, the perfect candidate walks through the door and . . .
Four Niskayuna students shared directing duties for the 16-member cast. The cast itself is young, as five of the actors are freshmen.
“It’s a strong showing,” said Regina Maley, co-adviser of the drama club. “If they’re this good as freshmen, they’ll be really good next year.”
This show is the first time any of the student-directors have gone behind the bullhorn. Denofio has been in other productions, like “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” and has enjoyed learning as a director.
“I’ve learned to be more authoritative and how to work with people,” Denofio said.
Co-director Matthew Mitchell is also honing his filmmaking skills and said directing the live stage performance has helped with his camera roles outside the theater.
“I’m going to be living the play in about a month,” said co-director Connor Millett-Wilson, referring to his own college interviews. Needless to say, he wasn’t planning on doing any magic when meeting with university officials.
“It’s a situation everyone can relate to,” Millett-Wison said.
Hannah Davis was a stage manager in previous performances but has liked directing as well.
“I’ve enjoyed teaching people how to be someone else and improve,” Davis said.
The cast has been rehearsing for about a month.
The drama club advisers are Maley and Kelly Millett.
The curtain goes up in the Little Theater on “13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview” on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $5.