A program at Farragut High School called Senior Directing gives fourth year students a chance to try their hands at directing a production for a public audience.
Molly Deakins, who says she has had every job in theater from makeup and hair to acting, took the first step as director of the fall season’s musical play very seriously. She had to find the right play.
“I think I sorted through 32 shows with our musical director,” says Molly. “We just couldn’t find a show that fit – right number of cast members, right tone and right message. Then ‘Theory of Relativity’ just kind of fell into our lap at the right time.”
Molly has been involved in 18 productions since she came to Farragut High School as a freshman. With a cast of 14 and a total cast-and-crew of around 25, Relativity is giving Molly a lot of experience as they move through rehearsals for a Sept. 21 opening night.
“I like that about directing,” says the FHS senior and daughter of Thomas and Kim Deakins. “You get a broad view, but you also really get to know the actors, and you get to understand what they bring to their performances. Theater creates a community, no matter what job you have. Our teachers do a great job of creating a community in the theater department.”
In addition to Senior Directing, other programs offered at FHS include Musical Theater, Comedy Improv Team and Competitive Theater, as well as all the collaborations between theater and the music programs.
While Molly isn’t sure yet which college she will attend, she plans to stay involved in theater at whatever school she chooses. “I plan to major in either business or communications and maybe minor in theater,” she says. “I want to stay involved, maybe with regional theater, but not as my main career.”
The lure of theater for Molly is the opportunity to share. “You get to tell a story and have a personal relationship with people you have never met. Even if it is just for 90 minutes or two hours, you connect with new people. That’s something you don’t get anywhere else.”
“Theory of Relativity” offers a good chance to connect, says Molly. “It’s a story about people and their lives as individuals and what they are going through. At the end, there is a twist that brings home a universal message. My favorite line in the play is: ‘I reach for your hand and hold tight.’ Come see the play. It all comes together.”
Music director for “Theory of Relativity” is Kyla Johnson. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 23, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. Tickets are $8 at the door of Farragut High School’s Ferguson Theatre.