Radford University presents student-directed “Praying for Rain”

Director Reggie Dantzler-Willie (left) hangs out with Josh Mullins (right), who plays Marc in "Praying for Rain."

Marc is a high school jock, but what happens when he has a near-crippling accident that changes everything? Does he fix his mistakes or spiral downward? These are the questions Radford University Department of Theatre seems to answers in their production of Robert Lewis Vaughan’s play “Praying for Rain.”

In the tradition of the Hawes Studio Theatre productions, the play is student directed by senior Reggie Dantzler-Willie. From Virginia Beach, he is a psychology major minoring in theatre. He has directed a one-act play, but this is his first full-length production.

“‘Praying for Rain’ has always felt like a dream to me and a lot of my vision has come from that belief,” he said. “I made it my own by choosing things like movement, sound, and overall direction. No two productions of shows are the same and I feel that I am able to show the way things are in my head onstage. Everyone sees things differently, and this is how I see the play.”

With that, he balances his vision by collaborating with cast members and the technical crew. Josh Mullins plays Marc and the rest of the cast includes Sarah Coleman, Tori Long, Ben Sherman, Becca Redifer, Adian Chapman and Jeremiah Smith.

Dantzler-Willie finds the amount of brainpower that goes into a show astounding.

“So many people work together to create this art and it’s amazing to see that happen,” he said. “This play has shown me the power of theatre. So many people work to make this happen.”

When asked if directing his friends is challenging, he says it can be both amazing and sometimes frustrating. Though they do have a good time during rehearsals, they all must remember the goal of producing quality theatre. This also requires balancing both fun and work, but they know their main focus is to put on a show.

The performances are Feb. 15 through 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. Admission is free but the box office recommends making reservations in advance. These are available online at rutheatretickets.com or at the Porterfield Box office during the week of the show.

“Praying for Rain” is for mature audiences. Call 540-831-5289 for more information.  

Feb 8, 2017
Leslie King