Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Augie Students Prepare ‘Children’s Hour’

Starting Thursday December 6, the student directed play Children’s Hour be performed.  Children’s Hour is set in a school for girls where a disgruntled student starts a lie about one of the two teachers there and says that they are in a lesbian relationship and chaos ensues from there.  All the characters have to deal with the consequences of this lie and are affected by it, and discuss what it means to be honest with oneself, with each other and with society in general and how people operate within a world that requires you to be somebody specific.
Augustana junior Shyann Devoss is the student director of  ‘Children’s Hour’.  Last year Devoss assistant directed the main stage play with Dr. Popple and Dr. Popple then suggested that she try student directing.
“It has been cool to find a play I really like and work with people I really like.  Overall its been a validating experience for me as an artist,” Devoss said.
For Devoss, the new style of the student directed play as opposed to the main stage play, has provided her with new and different challenges.
“You really want to go big or go home and you want everything to be elaborate and amazing but you have a very short amount of time compared to a main stage and very little funding compared to a main stage. So it’s trying to accurately depict your vision without all of the glitz and glam of it,” Devoss said.
The most rewarding thing about directing Children’s Hour for Devoss is the intimate environment.
“Working one-on-one with my peers and the collaborative process that encourages is really beautiful,” Devoss said. “While it’s a very beautiful show, there is also a melancholy feeling, and there will be some trigger warning that will be presented before the show begins. This is a safe space where these themes and ideas can be explored in a safe and artistic way.”
Sophomore and Children’s Hour actress, Sophia Rose Brown had done a rendition of Children’s Hour in high school and remembered loving it. Brown’s favorite thing about being in the play is the close cast.
“Not a rehearsal goes by that we don’t laugh,” Brown said. “[It is]fun to come to rehearsal every day which isn’t always the case with some shows”.
Brown also feels that the themes explored in Children’s Hour are important to discuss as there are still many environments where they are dismissed or frowned upon.
“Important to keep this dialogue alive because there are still places and people that can’t deal with homosexuality,” Brown said.
Junior Katie Griswald, another actress in the play, said even though she was going to be busy this term, she had to audition because it is such a beautiful story with such an important message.
Although Griswald loves the message behind the show, she said the most challenging part of the show is the consistent high levels of emotions it requires.
“For the 2nd and 3rd act we are in a constant state of stress….its really hard to maintain that level of emotion while still remembering that your characters feeling those things not you especially since it’s such a poignant story,” Griswald said.
Overall, Griswald has enjoyed working with Devoss and is looking forward to the performances.
“[Children’s Hour is] not a family friendly show but so worth seeing—there is so much talent and not like anything you have probably seen before,” Griswald said.

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Augie Students Prepare ‘Children’s Hour’