Fanta Diallo directs one of the student plays coming this November


Sera Mugeta

Director Fanta Diallo with the book “Blithe Spirit”.

Sera Mugeta, Staff Member

Fanta Diallo, a South student, and fellow Southerner writer is one of two senior students directing a one act play this year. Diallo, who has acted in South plays and even co-directed one last year, “The Book of Normon”, decided that this year she would tackle the task of directing a play she’s very fond of.

“I knew I wanted to self-direct a play last year as a senior project, but I didn’t know what play I wanted to do,” Diallo says.

Since freshmen year, Diallo has been very interested in the arts department of South. Diallo’s great experience in the department is what compelled her to fill out an application to self direct a fall play during the 2015-2016 school year.

“I filled out my application, and read so many scripts but didn’t like any of them,”Diallo had said until she found “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward, which she found extremely interesting and read in an entire night.

“Charles, the main character, is writing a book about the spiritual world and he hires a median to learn more about spirits. Doing this, a lot of stuff goes down with him and another character Ruth, his dead wife.” Diallo explains, leaving out a lot of details saving them for the opening night of her play.

Charles is played by junior Nico Mercadal and Ruth is played by freshman Maya Roberts. Other cast members include Viola Omikoro-Arken, Louis Willette, Amalia Zinky, Lydia Zupanc, and Varna Mayer.

The process of self directing a student play includes filling out an application against other applicants saying what play you want to do, your vision, time, and cost, but there isn’t any requirement for you to be taking a theater class at South. People apply around March during the following school year to see if they can direct a student play. If you’re selected you spend September to November directing and perfecting your play for showtime.

Auditioning takes place two days in one week right after school gets out where you audition using given lines put you’re not specifically auditioning for certain play. Lot’s of students audition just hoping to get any role in a play.

“At the time of auditions I thought getting in would be really cool,” Mercadal, lead character in ‘Blithe Spirit, says. “Before the play I had already read the synopsis and really liked the characters, and I knew Fanta was directing the play so it must be really cool,” he smiles.

Once the cast list has been posted, the directors call in the actors and schedule play practice.

“We blocked all of act one the other day. We’re going to clean everything up and block the rest of our acts so we can get ready for tech week,” Diallo says. “We’re all starting to really feel it.” Mercadal explains, continuing on Diallo’s thoughts.

“Being in the know and seeing the images come to life is cool.” The cast puts in a lot of time after school blocking acts and memorizing lines. You can expect them to still be in the auditorium around six o’clock finishing up their rehearsals.

Both Mercadal and Roberts both feel some connection to their characters. “She’s strong willed and spirited,” Roberts says. “I like being in her character, it’s fun,” she muses. “Charles and I aren’t too far apart, i need to get my life together too.” Mercadal says.

When asked how excited she is to see the play, Roberts replied “Really excited, but I don’t want my parents to see it,” she laughs.“If anyone ever has a chance to act, they should do it because acting is most definitely one of my favorite experiences. I’d love to direct or act later on in my life when i’m old. We’ll just see where life goes.” Diallo concludes.

Diallo’s play previews on Wednesday, November 4th and show on the 5th and 6th the following week.