Interview: Karina Wen '20 and Haia Bchiri '20
This week, justArts spoke with Karina Wen ’20 (pictured) and Haia Bchiri ’20 (not pictured), who were co-producers of this year’s annual “Quickies.”
justArts: What are the “Quickies”?
Karina Wen: “Quickies” is the UTC’s annual festival of original short plays (maximum ten-minute ) created by students!
JA: What are the typical themes you have in the “Quickies”?
KW: Usually there is a mix of comedies and dramas. Some plays also involve music and/or dance.
Haia Bchiri: “Quickies” themes run the gambit, though there tend to be a few school-related comedies, some family dramas and a number of plays dealing with personal tragedy. On the whole, though, the “Quickies” festival leans toward comedy.
JA: Do you need any background to direct?
KW: Nope! This year we chose
directors based on a brief application. Some of them had directed
before, and some had not.
HB: You don’t need to have any background to direct a “Quickie.” That’s the beauty of the festival: It’s a chance for students to explore realms of theatre in which they have little to no experience and possibly discover that they want to continue to pursue them or possibly just have fun trying something new for a bit.
JA: How does casting work?
KW: We do common casting for all the short plays. All of the directors are in the room, and people drop in and read monologues that we provide.
HB: Casting is done a few weeks before “Quickies.” We gather all of the directors, along with the producers, in one room and hold open auditions for a few hours one evening. After that, we all sit together and talk through our cast options, negotiating over actors who are wanted for more pieces they can do and coordinating all of the lists so we can send them out simultaneously.
JA: What are some of the challenges in putting this together?
KW: Many people who were involved in “Quickies” this year are very busy, so coordinating schedules could be pretty challenging.
HB: Organizing all of the shows day- of may be the hardest part; making sure the order of the festival works for everyone and no one has conflicts during their tech time is a challenge.
JA: What was most exciting about producing the “Quickies”?
KW: It was great to be able to see the plays on their feet! Although we as producers weren’t directly involved in any of them, we got to see all of them through the whole process, from scripts to fully staged plays.
HB: We had an amazing group of people this year (including my incredible co-producer, Karina) and they made “Quickies” the wonderful, honestly fun experience it was.