Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications

Looking Back on Writing and Directing Your Own Play

October 15, 2008

In this segment, Lehman student Juan Ramirez discusses his experience writing — and directing — his own play.

2 Minutes 44 Seconds

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This is Lydia Diaz, a Mass Communications major at Lehman College. In this segment, Lehman student Juan Ramirez discusses his experience writing — and directing — his own play.

"Redlight" — about the lives of women on the street — was written by Ramirez during his course with Lehman professor and award-winning playwright William Hoffman.

"Redlight" was performed at Lehman in the 2008 SUMMERWORX program. Ramirez previously directed an all-male cast in the SUMMERWORX 2007 production of "Glengarry Glen Ross."



The opportunities that-- that you can have at Lehman, I don't think I can see anywhere else having them. There are so many different venues here. So many different kind of theatre. You can do anything you want. You can come in and say, "Hey, you know what? I want to perform. I have a piece." You really don't feel that you can fail. That, you know, I can't do this.

You-- you don't feel like that. You have so much support. And here, they hear you out, what you got. I love it. It's really great. And people from other departments come and see us. And the staff, the teachers come and support, they watch the shows. You can't buy that.

I was lucky. I was extremely lucky to do my own play. It was a privilege -- beyond privilege, it was luck. For people who want to direct and people who did direct this summer and all who did amazing jobs, I saw them grow. Not only just as directors, but as actors. Directing is the kind of thing that you -- you see, since you're kind of the eye and you're putting it up and it's your vision, you see how actors are. You see how stage managers are. You see how this is and that is.


And the next time you're an actor, you're different. An appreciation is built. And I think -- I think anybody who has an interest in it should do it. Because it's another angle of theatre. And whether -- whether you want to do it or not, or like it or not, try it and it'll make you appreciate a lot of other things. I like working with the actors the most. And them going through this process of figuring out their character. It comes to a point where once the show gets closer, they know their character more than you.

And they should. And it's wonderful to see that growth. And 'cause you grow, as well. You grow with them. It's like this ride that you take with them. And -- I-- that's what I love about directing. It's stressful. But when the show goes up, that one moment that you know they-- they nailed it, it's just worth it.



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