Play director discusses fine points of her position


The Magnet Tribune: Courtesy photo

Cigarroa One Act Play members advanced to district in 2017.

Gabriel Gutierrez, Staff Writer

People don’t realize how much commitment the One-Act Play takes to be successful, according to Cigarroa High School’s OAP director.

Ariana Mendez was in OAP her last two years of high school, which inspired her to pursue a career in theatre. Now she’s the OAP director at Cigarroa High School. She has been doing this job for three years.

Mendez said she enjoys her job.

“At times it can be very rewarding,” she said

She says her favorite thing about OAP is spending time with her “kids.” She also loves the creative aspect of it and the journey.

“I love the evolution, how you start with one thing and end up with something completely different,” she said.

There are also things about OAP that Mendez doesn’t like. She said she doesn’t enjoy all the restrictions that are placed.

For example, there’s a limit on how long the cast has to set up for its play which is only seven minutes. Then there’s a limit on how long the actors have to perform which is only forty minutes.

Also, there is a specific list of plays that the director can choose from. If a different play is chosen it requires approval from UIL.

Cigarroa is also at a disadvantage when it comes to OAP, she said, because the cast has nowhere to rehearse. There’s no equipment for the cast to use such as lights which makes it harder for them on competition day.

I love the evolution, how you start with one thing and end up with something completely different.”

— Ariana Mendez

Mendez would like people to recognize how hard OAP is, she said. A lot of money and time has to be invested in order to have a play worthy of showing audiences. OAP members need to be at rehearsal Monday through Sunday.

“It’s just as, if not more competitive than a sport.”, Mendez said.

According to Mendez the most memorable thing about OAP this year was when the cast performed in Laredo. Cigarroa OAP performed at the UISD SAC as a fundraiser and they along with Mendez said they were stunned by the school’s administration attendance. She was so happy to see the level of support the administrators had for the hard work her students are showing on stage.

After three years of being an OAP director, Mendez said she has learned that sometimes she has to yell for the actors to do something properly. She learned that even though it’s a long and difficult process the end product is so rewarding.

Lastly, she learned that as a director you need to have fun.

“If the director is enjoying what they do, everyone has a good time,” Mendez said about her efforts.