Alumnus tapped to direct performance
Radford University will host a guest director for the play “Dancing On Checkers’ Grave,” set to run Nov. 2-6 as part of the Hawes Studio Theatre series.
The Department of Theatre and Cinema tapped Radford alumnus Stephen Baltz ’12 to direct the play, which has a cast of two students.
“Stephen was a strong student director while he was here,” said Professor of Theatre Wesley Young. “We thought he would be a great person to take on this project. It also gives the students the chance to work with someone outside the few of us who usually direct at Radford.”
Students are involved in every aspect of the play, ranging from set design and lighting to assistant costume designer and the backstage crew.
“Students are vital to this production,” Baltz said. “Without the students, there would be no show.”
Baltz brings a unique perspective to the play as a guest director.
“As someone who has been through the same academic program - and has worked with a diverse range of artists since graduating - I can bring together the different experiences I’ve had in and out of Radford University and expose the students to new ways of approaching a show,” Baltz said.
In addition to directing experience, Baltz also brings industry experience to campus.
“Stephen can offer his perspective of having been out of school for a while,” Young said. “Stephen writes and he generates a lot of projects on his own, so he can offer advice on how to continue working between creative gigs.”
The play, “Dancing On Checkers’ Grave,” is written by Eric Lane and is about two high school girls who meet at the gravesite of Checkers, Richard Nixon’s dog. The girls, who are completely different, find common ground in vocabulary, nail polish and doughnuts.
“It’s a very fun and touching story that I believe will speak to anyone who has ever felt different or unsure about their future,” Baltz said.
The play starts at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2-5 in Hawes Studio Theatre and 2 p.m. on Nov. 6, also in Hawes Studio Theatre.