HPU News & Media Press Releases
Graduate Makes Directing Debut
HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 27, 2012 – Matti Jane Dickenson, who graduated from High Point University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in technical theater, made her directing debut with “Vanities” in Germantown, Md., Aug. 17-19.
“Vanities” is a play with only three cast members and three acts, but it still requires much preparation. Dickenson was involved in every aspect of the play, from sanding down the stage and putting up lights, to developing an extensive backstory for her characters. These are not roles that a director usually plays, but since the company is small, she helped in every way she could.
The experience Dickenson gained during her time at HPU helped prepare her for this position. She was able to stage manage numerous plays and also had the opportunity to direct a scene in “The Robber Bridegroom” during her final semester.
Dickenson had also managed “Vanities,” for the HPU Department of Theater. She built positive relationships between the staff and cast members; relationships that helped her grow and learn how to do her job better.
“Being a tech major I think gives me an advantage in directing,” said Dickenson. “Many directors don’t have much knowledge of how things work backstage, with costuming, or in the booth with lights and sound.”
Dickenson has utilized the knowledge she learned in her classes and while directing “Vanities” to create the feel of the ?60s and ?70s.
“I think at HPU you’re given a lot of responsibility working on a show, so you get a lot of real, hands-on experience, with a mentor always there to help you along the way. The all-around knowledge and confidence that was instilled in me at HPU is what has made me able to direct this show.”
Dickenson is a board member and technical director for UpCounty Theatre in Germantown, Md., which has allowed her to stage manage and assistant direct a few plays. She also volunteers her time at her high school, teaching students about tech and helping with their shows. Dickenson has a bright future ahead of her with so much experience behind her.
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