Student director provides support, criticism enhances actors performance

By Jaime De Haro

Hardworking, a leader and dedicated are just three words to describe Marina Love Chavez. Her commitments to the East Los Angeles College Theater Department have allowed her to take steps into new directions. 

Chavez is currently the associate-student director for the play “The African Company Presents: Richard III.”

“My duties are basically just to help the actors understand their motivations and put the whole show together in terms of blocking and lines, and give my thoughts and opinions to the director to see what works and what doesn’t,” Chavez said. 

As a student director, Chavez has been a support system for the cast and crew. She provides advice, support and criticism to the actors which has helped them improve to this day. 

Chavez thinks her cast and crew is awesome. She has watched them progress and grow tremendously throughout the production of the show. 

“If there was one thing I could tell the actors, it would be that instead of just saying your lines and anticipating them, react to them because you’re telling the story. You’re not the one watching it,” she said.

In the beginning, Chavez was the one who asked to be the student director for the play. Director Rodney Lloyd Scott, was hesitant about allowing her to direct the play but the outcome has impressed him. 

She has become a role model to many of the actors and has made the him proud.

“He was kind of hesitant because I was a big procrastinator on reading the script, but I guess I can say that I proved him wrong. Now, he’s very proud of me and likes everything I did,” Chavez said.

Watching her work her magic from the cast and crew’s point of view is a different story. You would be able to describe her as that quiet person but at the end of the day, she knows what she’s doing. 

Scott, who has given her resources on directing, books to buy and advice to fulfill her duties as a student director. 

At the beginning of production, she had some moments where she was afraid to direct but her director gave her some words of wisdom. 

“Who inspired me? I would say Rodney. At first, I told him I was afraid to direct the show since it was an African American cast which I’m obviously not.” Chavez said.

“So I didn’t want to overstep boundaries but he gave me many resources and told me that ‘as long as you do the work and you know what you’re doing as a director they’ll respect you’ and that gave me the boost of confidence to do the show,” Chavez said.

Scott said “The only difference with me in this show is that I have Marina Chavez as the associate director. I usually don’t let people touch my shows, so it shows how much I’ve trusted her and her talents and what she can bring to the table. 

“She’s done more than any other director or student director that I’ve had over the last 25 years. So, she’s the queen of this” said Scott.

Chavez is currently set to transfer to California State University Los Angeles in the Fall and will pursue acting. It’s her goal to become a professional actress but she knows that a spot in Hollywood isn’t always guaranteed. 

After receiving her bachelor’s, she also plans to possibly come back to ELAC and become a theater professor here.

As a theater professor at ELAC, she said “I would love to do a musical! But I would mainly focus on LGBTQ pieces and things that are just super fun. And then maybe sometimes shows that are dramatic and emotional.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *