Five directors make a scene directing Shorts 13

Women dressed up as men, two brothers kidnapping grandmas, the meaning of life and the search for the right job. All of these things and more are rolled into one big show called Shorts 13. Once every school year, several students apply to direct a short play for Shorts, a West Linn High School theater production consisting of select student directed and/or written plays.

Any student who’s taken Actor/Director Seminar can apply to direct a play and shape according to their vision. Rhianna Turner, junior, and Paden Bryck, Emily Axelrod, Caroline Hitesman and Ailish Duff, seniors, were selected to showcase their directing skills.

Typically, Shorts consists of only three 30 minute plays, but this year is an exception with four plays on the program.

“It feels really great that out of so many people they would pick a junior to direct this year, so I feel really lucky to be that one junior,” Turner, who will be co-directing the play “If Men Played Cards as Women Do” by George S. Kaufman with Bryck, said. The play is about four men in the 1920s gathering together and playing cards, but the topic of conversation is more like that of women. The seemingly simple play begins to look a lot more interesting when you take in the fact that all four of the men will be played by women dressed up as men.

The other plays include “The Grannynappers” written and directed by Axelrod, “The Case of the Crushed Petunias” written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Duff, and “Help Wanted” written by Ashley Welp, senior, and directed by Hitesman. With plays ranging from two brothers kidnapping grandmas to two women searching for the right job and the right man, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Being chosen as a director did not come easily for these five. There was a very long selection process in which all those wanting to direct submitted their plays in the hopes that they would be chosen.

“[The selection process was] very long and grueling because it took us a long time to find a play. Paden and I have a kind of ‘out there’ style,” Turner said. Most of the five had to give up their first, second and even third choices because they weren’t right, and sometimes not appropriate, for Shorts. Sometimes their first choice ended up being too risque or too hard for the directors to bring to life.

Shorts 13 runs May 10, 11 and 12 in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $8 for adults and $3 for inducted Thespians. Tickets are not yet available, but they will soon be sold online and in the Box Office.