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Franklin Regional’s ‘Thespalooza’ serves up four one-act plays |

Franklin Regional’s ‘Thespalooza’ serves up four one-act plays

Franklin Regional student actors Gianna Baum (Kafka), Mateo Kokic (Milton) and Ethan Miller (Swift) rehearse scenes for the upcoming Thespalooza.
Franklin Regional student actors Gianna Baum (Kafka), Mateo Kokic (Milton) and Ethan Miller (Swift) rehearse scenes for the upcoming one-act production, Thespalooza, with Mike Bliss, student director.

Franklin Regional senior Mike Bliss remembers the encouragement he received as an underclassman from older members of the district’s high school Thespians acting troupe.

Bliss wanted to pass along what he’d learned, which led him to volunteer as one of four student directors for “Thespalooza,” the club’s night of one-act plays set for this weekend.

“I wanted to take a leadership role,” said Bliss, 17. “I’ve enjoyed seeing my cast grow into their roles and expand as actors. They get better and better every rehearsal — being a factor in that is a great honor.”

Bliss will direct “Words, Words, Words!” which takes its cue from the “Infinite Monkey Theorem,” the supposition that a group of monkeys, given enough time at a typewriter, eventually will write the complete works of Shakespeare.

It is Bliss’ first time as a director, and, he said, he has benefited from the structure of the show, in which four separate one-act plays will be staged.

“It’s been great going through this experience with other students,” he said. “We can communicate with each other about tips, problems and concerns.”

Bliss also has seen fellow directors’ approach to notes and criticism, a skill that requires a delicate touch when the actors are your classmates.

“A director has to point out what they like, what they don’t like and what needs to be improved,” Bliss said. “But a director also has to be encouraging and positive that it’s getting better every time. I do it by giving positive notes as much as I give improving notes.”

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2365 or [email protected].

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