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Point Park University theatre arts majors enhanced their knowledge of the art and craft of directing by producing the Raymond Laine Memorial One Acts Festival, held each year at the end of the fall and spring semester. 

"The festival is a collaboration of one acts directed by the Advanced Directing class at Point Park University," said Emmy Masteller, a senior theatre arts major from The Sharon Academy in Stafford, Vt. "Normally they are produced and presented back-to-back in the Pittsburgh Playhouse. This year things changed because of COVID-19 and we all made short films. I directed, stage-managed and helped film my piece, Stuffed."

The students in alumnus and part-time instructor Steven Wilson's Fall 2020 Advanced Directing class included: 

  • Jacob BartoshThe Place Where Lost Things Go
  • Jesse ChovanecAny
  • Zetra GoodlowBlood at the Root
  • Anna HansonLetters of a Lifetime
  • Emmy MastellerStuffed
  • Vanessa VivasSnowing Sand
  • Albert Wash IIYou're Working the Checkout at Walmart
  • *Bri Fallahee joins the class for the Spring 2021 semester

Hear more from the directors about their experience below. 

Video: One Acts Festival Trailer 

Meet the Directors

Pictured is Jacob Bartosh. Submitted photo. Jacob Bartosh '22

Major: Theatre arts 
Minor: Screenwriting
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Shaler Area High School
Dream job: Hollywood screenwriter and director

How has your Point Park experience inside and outside of the classroom prepared you to take on this role?

I found myself dabbling in all forms of theatre and many of its different aspects. In the director's role you are wearing many hats and need to tackle a lot of different problems on set, before rehearsals and beyond. At Point Park I've been taught acting, playwriting, directing, screenwriting, movement, stagecraft and even makeup. These different avenues have given me the ability to hone all my knowledge and training to navigate whatever obstacle is stopping me or my projects from their goals. Without Point Park, I wouldn't have that.

Pictured is Jesse Chovanec. Submitted photo. Jesse Chovanec '22

Major: Theatre arts 
Self-directed concentration exploring directing and playwriting
Hometown: Blairsville, Pa.
High school: Blairsville High School
Dream job: To create collaborative art through unconventional mediums and spaces incorporating wildlife

How is your Point Park experience preparing you for professional success?

My Point Park experience has prepared me for professional success through collaborating with my own professors as colleagues to create art. They treat us with the utmost respect and expectancy that is the reality of the theatrical world. My training has grown the most when I have been treated as an equal rather than an inferior, and that’s exactly what Point Park prepares us to be — equals. 

Pictured is Anna Hanson. Submitted photo.Anna Hanson '21

Major: Theatre arts 
Technical theatre
Hometown: Glen Ridge, N.J.
High school: Glen Ridge High School
Dream job: Theatre artist

How were you challenged as an artist in this role?

I was challenged in many ways in this process. In these times of COVID-19 it is really hard to make theater. We were each given $50 and were sent on our way. I found it to be a valuable learning experience putting this whole piece together by myself. I feel coming out of this that I am much more confident, not only in my directorial abilities but in many other elements of theatre, more specifically, tech and playwriting.

Pictured is Emmy Masteller. Submitted photo.Emmy Masteller '21

Major: Theatre arts (directing concentration) 
Hometown: Stafford, Vt.
High school: The Sharon Academy
Dream job: Theatre artist

Why would you recommend these types of opportunities to a prospective student?

It is a great opportunity to reach out to and collaborate with others in the Conservatory of Performing Arts and to meet new people. This business is all about who you know and making connections, so I recommend starting this while you’re still in college. It is also an opportunity to learn about yourself and what you are capable of as an artist and as a person. 

Pictured is Vanessa Vivas. Submitted photo.Vanessa Vivas '21

Major: Theatre arts 
Minor: Broadcast reporting
Hometown: Maracay, Venezuala and Doha, Qatar
High school: American School of Doha
Dream job: Actress, director, playwright, filmmaker, editor

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We came into the semester expected to choose and direct plays for the Zoom platform. However, we collectively decided to expand our horizons beyond the unmute buttons and green borders.

These projects are all entirely created with new mediums, new scripts, new performers, new methods, new dimensions. This was also the first project of this scale that I have taken on as a sole director, having only previously co-directed large projects. Yet it demanded that I come face-to-face with the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in the arts. When nothing is left, do you still create? I did.

More About: international, broadcast reporting, Shaler Area High School, faculty, theatre arts, Conservatory of Performing Arts, screenwriting