The Indiana Memorial Union Board is putting on Charlie Smalls‘ The Wiz, and it’s an entirely student-directed production. As publicity Coordinator Mickey Woods says, “The production is a process that from start to finish is student developed and draws on the wide variety of talents on campus.”
You Do Need A Bit of ‘Pride…’
Stephen Hammoor, a double major in theater and religious studies at Indiana University, is an actor, director and persuasive salesman – and in an interview with the Indiana Memorial Union Board, he proved it. Along with one of the play’s stars, Allie Hillmann, Hammoor spoke with WFIU’s George Walker about the process of getting The Wiz up and running.
“It was a competition,” Hammoor says. “Each of us had to present a concept and a show. The Wiz is one of my favorites and the ideas that I presented about extending the scope of the drama out from the African-American community to all in the streets was persuasive enough that I got the job.”
Persuasion on socially charged subjects is nothing new for Hammoor. “The first play that I directed was a high school production of Dead Man Walking. My teacher was going to go with a staged reading, but I convinced her to let me direct it. ” Although he’s only a sophomore at IU, The Wiz will be the eleventh play that Hammoor has directed.
And A Certain ‘Sensibility’
Like Hammoor, Allie Hillmann is a sophomore majoring in theater who has lots of theater experience. “I’ve been in plays and musicals and other types of shows both with school and community groups. I do have to say that working with Stephen has offered some new challenges and opportunities.”
Her role? “I play a minor witch, a witch without much magic who pretty much relies on the Munchkins for support. Stephen has allowed us some space [to develop our characters]; I’d have to say that my witch is in fact pretty spacey.”