STP Preview: ‘Acting: The First Six Lessons’

by Zach Krauss

This Saturday, Emily Hunnemeyer will present her senior theater project, “Acting: The First Six Lessons,” a two-person play by Beau Bridges and Emily Bridges.

Emily Hunnemeyer, a senior theatre performance major, has been planning her senior theater project since the summer of 2018. The story of “Acting: The First Six Lessons” follows the a young, budding actress and her journey with her acting teacher towards learning the art of her trade. The 80-minute show takes a look at some of the intricacies and challenges associated with performing on stage.

Hunnemeyer will perform in the show while also serving as the artistic director, overseeing many of the technical aspects of the production. Her main role in the show is as the Creature, the young girl trying to grow as an actress. Jeremy Smith, a senior theatre performance major, will be playing the role of her teacher. Hunnemeyer said that working on this production has taught her about theater in a unique way.

“As I’ve worked on the show, I’ve come to realize that it’s just so rich with wisdom for the actor,” Hunnemeyer said. “I have grown and learned so much just from the script. There are so many things from the script itself that I have been able to implement into my own acting in the show, which is just so cool.”

As the artistic director, Hunnemeyer developed the concept for the show and designed the set and costumes. She said one of the most rewarding and challenging parts of the process was the opportunity of collaborating with the other members of the production team.

“Allowing myself to let go of certain aspects of the show and trust those things to other people has challenged and stretched me a lot,” Hunnemeyer said. “I’m so thankful I have the people working for me that I do, and I’m so glad I get to see so many people pouring into the show that are doing what I know they’re good at.”

Hunter Johnson, sophomore theatre performance major and co-director for the show, said that the introspective, dialogue-based script intrigued him from the very beginning. He said that one of the most exciting parts of the process of working on the production has been working with both actors on how to get the story across in a way that depicts not only the plot, but also the character development going on behind the scenes.

“It’s a character show about two people who come from two very different areas and learn about and from each other,” Johnson said. “It is about the acting aspect of theater, but it’s also very much about these characters and their personal growth.”

Hunnemeyer wants the story to be seen as a coming-of-age story that is much more than academic. She feels that those who have a connection to theater will be able to learn immensely from the concepts portrayed in the show, and that even those who have never stepped foot in a theater before in their lives can connect to the characters in the story in a very real way.

“It’s funny at times; it’s really touching at times,” Hunnemeyer said. “It’s a lively story, and there is something in it for everyone.”

The performance will take place in Cedarville’s Alford Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17

Zach Krauss is a senior pharmacy/music double major from central Texas and campus reporter for Cedars. He loves music, theatre, biology, community, and meeting new people.

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