This week, justArts spoke with Sophia Massidda ’20 who directed “Mud,” a play written by Maria Irene Fornes, who is also the playwright for the upcoming department show, “Fefu and her Friends.”  The play was sponsored by the department. 

justArts: How did you come across the opportunity to direct “Mud?”

Sophia Massidda: Last year, I auditioned for “Fefu and her Friends,” which is the department show that’s going on right now, and the director of that said, “Hey, if you don’t get into this, then you’re welcome to do another play by the same playwright, and the department will support you and advertise you.” 

JA: What was it like working with such a small cast?

SM: It definitely made it a lot easier, especially since this was my first time directing anything, and both of the other actors are my friends outside of this, so they were really helpful even when I didn’t know what I was doing!

JA: What was it like both directing and acting in the play?

SM: That was really hard! Probably not something I’d do again, at least until I had more directing experience. But it was also really interesting to be able to look at it in a way that I’m familiar with, an actor’s perspective and also looking at it in a totally new way, from a director’s perspective.

JA: What was your favorite part of directing?

SM: Sometimes, when I’m acting in a show, I’ll just see an opportunity for two actors to do something, and I’ll feel so presumptuous if I tell them to do it. So, in this situation, I got to tell people what to do!

JA: What was the most challenging part of directing?

SM: It was definitely acting in it at the same time, because I had no idea of what the play looked like from the outside until probably the last week of rehearsal when I got a few other people to watch it and tell me what they thought!

JA: What is the most important message that you hope the audience takes away from the show?

SM: Well, the major thing that I did was recast Henry as a woman instead of a man, as he’s written, because I wanted this to not just be a play about women versus mankind, which I think a lot of people interpret it to be, and I wanted it to be about these characters specifically, so I hope that I got a couple of people to look at it differently.

JA: What was your favorite part of the show to work on?

SM: Probably the set design, which is just not something I would have ever touched or thought that I would like to do, but I got really into it! I liked to set out all the props, and I put dirt on the floor and stuff. So that was all really fun!

—Lizzie Grossman