Edge, Theater

Senior produces play without ‘Assistance’

EDGE_Rehearsal 2

Senior Chris Goodrich directs “Assistance,” a student led production, Tuesday evening in the Theater Department. After five weeks of rehearsal, the show will premeire 6 p.m. Sunday at the School of Communication Studio A. Ashley Martinez // Edge Editor

There is a beautiful irony about a production of a play entitled “Assistance” being entirely student-driven.

For the past month, senior musical theatre major Chris Goodrich and a cast of six actors and actresses have taken on the challenge of mounting an independent performance of Leslye Headland’s 2008 workplace comedy. The student-led show will run at 6 p.m. Sunday at the School of Communication in Studio A.

“It’s a story about the personal assistants of a complete nightmare boss, Daniel Weisinger, and the scramble to keep their dream job,” said Goodrich, the director of the play.

Goodrich, with the encouragement of some of his conservatory classmates, decided to present “Assistance” as a passion project outside of the requirements of any class or department-sponsored show. He was immediately drawn to the script for this project.

“This was the perfect play,” Goodrich said about his decision. “It’s written for young actors, it’s hilarious, and it doesn’t need a ton of tech.”

This isn’t Goodrich’s first stint in the director’s chair. He has previously directed a one-act play written by Shel Silverstein and “a dramatic, spy film version of ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’” as well as taken a directing class at the university.

However, a larger-scale production like “Assistance” has presented its own difficulties. The cast rehearses weekdays, nights and weekends, which can be exhausting for actors trying to balance daily schoolwork with their “night jobs.”

“The most challenging part is the scheduling,” Goodrich said. “I never want to waste anyone’s time, but that’s inevitable in a difficult rehearsal.”

Still, Goodrich strives to create a collaborative atmosphere in rehearsals, particularly because he is working with his peers.

“I encourage everyone to bring their creativity to the process,” he said. “I want rehearsal to be fun, but also intense – truly challenging at times so that I can push people to their greatest potential. I try to shape people’s instincts.”

While the vast majority of the project has been unsupervised by faculty, Goodrich did enlist a few trusted outside eyes to critique the production in its final stages.

“I invited professors to watch rehearsal and give notes,” he said. “… I really respect their input and their understanding of the actors.”

With just days before the Sunday performance, Goodrich is confident that his cast has created a production to be proud of.

“You should see the fantastic work of a bunch of talented actors,” he said. “This play is all their work, and I’m blown away by it every day.”


If You Go:

What: “Assistance”

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: University of Miami School Of Communication, Studio A

Cost: Free

February 18, 2015


Madelyn Paquette

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.