[NEWS BRIEF] Red Bird Production presents new ‘Brown Bag’ tradition

Senior Javier Diaz plays the character Jake and argues with Junior Gwineth Cervantes who plays Jenny. The scene ends with Cervantes throwing water at Diaz as the crowd cheers. Cervantes stormed off towards the exit and said, “You’ve truly been the problem all along.”

The Red Bird Productions presents Brown Bags, a new tradition where students can eat their lunch and enjoy student directed performance. Starting today, @redbirdprod is presenting various senior and honor student directed plays in the black box theater, room 1227 during Cardinal Hour. Today’s Brown Bag lunch was directed by senior Jenny Katzen. Check out @redbirdprod for the rest of the schedule.

Katzen said she enjoyed the concept of the Brown Bag.

“I think it’s a great idea because I know many people in theater have an interest in directing, so it’s awesome to have an opportunity to experiment with it,” Katzen said. “There’s definitely a learning curve. I love the creative license that I have as the director, and I think that directing others can help me become a better actor because I get to see things from the perspective of the director.”

Similar to having many events occur during AP tests, Katzen said she faced the challenge of working on her Brown Bag play while in the middle of UIL competitions.

“There were a few things that happened during the rehearsal process that made it a little bit more difficult,” Katzen said. “For one, a lot of the actors were cast in two shows, so having to share our actors with other directors took a bit of planning. Also, Brown Bags started in the middle of UIL competition season, so a lot of the directors who were also in UIL were a bit behind everyone else because there was a few weeks of overlap.”

Today’s Brown Bag performance focused on relationship struggles between multiple couples but ended with a happily ever after. Senior Javier Diaz played Jake, one of the lead characters.

“I think the character had interesting personality traits. Jake eemed to lower his own standards for a girl almost like he’s ‘simpin’,” Diaz said. “I probably can’t relate that much to the character, which honestly made it a little challenging for me. I procrastinated in the line memorization, which inevitably led to very risky improv, but we still seemed to play it off well and the play was still really fun.”

Freshman Riley McDonald played the characters Catherine, Ashley and Gabriella and said she could understand where each character was coming from in the relationship. Catherine represented neediness, Ashley represented a liar and Gabriella represented someone who couldn’t handle love. McDonald said she really enjoyed the Brown Bag and looks forward to doing another one in the future and maybe directing her own.

“It was so fun to work with classmates who I’ve never really interacted with before,” McDonald said. “I kept saying in my mind ‘be loud and proud’ and I think I did quite well and was so happy about the turnout of the crowd.”

McDonald encourages other students who are interested to join Red Bird Productions for the experience.

“Red Bird Productions introduces you to so many people who are all interested in the same thing, so it’s really easy to make friends,” McDonald said. I also think people think theater is just acting. There’s so much more to do like costume design, set design, lights, makeup and hair. There’s something for everyone in the theater.”