Senior Ali Keller is doing amazing thing with her theatre major. From improv and design to acting and directing, Ali has immersed herself in all parts of performance, always demonstrating her sheer talent in in each area. This semester, Ali has taken on the challenge of directing Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive. This show is a must-see of the semester, and after learning more about Ali, you’ll know why.
Hometown – Massapequa, New York
Class Year – Senior, 2012
Major – Theatre
You’re very talented in all parts of the theatre (and improv!) What draws you to directing?
Haha well first of all thanks for the compliment. I’ve done a ton of different jobs in theatre over the last few years. I’ve acted, improved, and dabbled in various kinds of design but I’ve always returned to directing because it’s what I’ve enjoyed the most. Directing excites me because it’s a chance to use a play to converse with an audience about the characters and their lives and issues that the playwright addresses. I also really enjoy directing because working with actors to help them give the performance only they can give is so much more fun to me than performing ever was
How I Learned to Drive is a very powerful and emotional drama. How has this affected you throughout the creative process?
Paula Vogel’s play is a roller coaster for sure. One of my favorite things about this show is that it is powerful and emotional but it’s also very funny. She’s created a show that takes you to so many different emotions, both happy and sad, which allows you to root for all the characters at different times. While all these things are going on, she’s presenting an extremely important issue in a new way.
For me personally, I’m mostly proud of what’s happening in rehearsal. I have a group of incredibly talented, hard working, and enthusiastic actors who have accepted the challenge of working on this piece. I have asked them to judge their characters to be good, even when they aren’t doing good things in the show. It was not an easy thing to ask them to do, but they took that notion and ran with it. The all-student production team that is working on the show has also been a phenomenal asset to this showcase. Seeing the show grow over the last few weeks has been incredible. I’m just extremely proud and lucky that I have such an incredible team helping to create and honor such a powerful story.
What do you hope to share with your audience through this production?
I don’t like telling my audience what I want them to see or experience. I will say that the most I can hope for with this production is that the audience will have a conversation with this piece. It doesn’t matter to me if they walk away agreeing with what we’ve said with the show, just that they’ve thought about it. That and I hope they find it entertaining.
Do you want to pursue directing post graduation?
Yes I do and I’m very excited to say that I will. I’ll be working with the CRY HAVOC Theatre Company in New York City after graduation. I will be working as their staff Outreach Coordinator and will be a part of the company’s Directing Core.
With just about a month left here, are there any last minute things to cross off your Bucknell bucket list?
Hmm… Well off campus I’d definitely like to make it to trivia night at least once before I graduate. I’d also really like to eat in the Terrace Room one last time. I haven’t been there as much as I wanted to this semester.
Class at Bucknell – Creative Writing Non Fiction with Prof. Camuto
Meal at Bucknell – I crave junk food when I’m stressed out so chicken fingers, beer batter fries, and a chocolate chip cookie is my go to stress meal.
Spot on Campus – I love the grass and concrete common area in between all the gateways. I don’t know what it’s called but sitting out there on a warm sunny day is the best.
Thing about Lewisburg – I’m obsessed with Wilson Ross. I will miss that store when I graduate.
Freeze Flavor – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!
A Few Random Facts:
My driver’s license says I’m 5 ft. but I’m actually 4’ 11” and ¾ . At least that’s what my height was the last time anyone checked.
I get very stressed out if my crayons or markers are not in a specific color order.
My favorite tv shows are 30 Rock and Entourage.
I spend a lot of my time on Netflix watching trailers of movies with absolutely no intention of finding one to watch.
How I Learned to Drive will be performed in the Tustin Blackbox at the following times:
April 28th @ 2pm
April 29th & 30th @ 8pm
Tickets are $5.