This fall, Maloy (Sr., Quito, Ecuador) joined the ranks of theatre majors who have directed a production on the IWU main stage. He chose “Rocket Man” by playwright Steven Dietz as the first play of the 2013-14 season and part of his senior creative project required of all Communication & Theatre majors.
The first step began more than a year earlier when Maloy picked the script and then participated on the Theatre Advisory Board of faculty and staff who select the upcoming season’s production. Next came months of reading and blocking the script, auditions in spring 2013, more developmental work throughout the summer and then rehearsals starting in August before classes resumed.
Maloy described the work of the director as wearing many hats, but mostly, “making sure the actors performed in a manner that accurately portrayed the message of the story. ” In this case, “Rocket Man” is about life’s choices and missed opportunities and the fallout from those decisions on people close to you.
Making those stories comes alive means working with peers and friends, sometimes making tough artistic decisions to realize the writer’s vision. Lead actor Adam Fike (Sr., Kokomo, IN) said Maloy was an “encouragement and a fantastic director.” who pushed them to discover deeper portions of their character.
Stage Manager, Ashley Nossett (Jr. Brownsburg, IN) said she knew, “Daniel would set the bar for future student directors, and he did. He reflected the message of Rocket Man on stage through his leadership off stage; Life is all about the road not taken. Not letting the window close or allowing ourselves be stagnant, but taking action to make our lives worth it.”
For Maloy, it was in many ways the capstone of four years in the IWU Theatre Guild, working every possible position. “It required me to have a knowledge of every single element of the show (acting, stage managing, designing, directing) and lead the cast and crew on a journey through the script. All of my theatre classes were used at some point in the production,” he said.
IWU Theatre faculty select up to two student directors each season to lead a show as part of their education. Maloy said he wouldn’t have traded the experience for “anything in the world.”
“The story challenged each and every person involved in their own unique way. So, to look back on this show and knowing we made it through successfully makes me feel awesome…I hope to have another directing experience soon,” he said.