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The journey of Alex Price, student director

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Growing up, Alex Price never imagined going to Bethel College. This makes sense, considering the fact that he has lived in Mishawaka the entirety of his life. But Price, now a junior at Bethel College, is thriving at the school in the theatre department. The reason behind Price deciding to attend Bethel was one man who, according to many personal testimonies, has made an impact on many people’s lives: Bob Ham. Price said, “I came here doing music education, Bob Ham really pulled me in.” Even though Price is not a music education major anymore, the degree he will receive a year from now is similar. Price will receive a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts with a concentration in directing. Price found his passion to direct shows a few years ago. “I assisted and directed a show with a friend of mine, and I really enjoyed that,” said Price. “The opportunity came along. When you find your passion and what you truly love, you know it. I’m really glad I was led in that way because I really do enjoy it.” Price has directed and assisted various shows with the Main Stage Inc., a local theatre company, and Jon West, executive director of the Main Stage Inc., including “Oliver!” “The Addams Family” and “West Side Story.” With being a theatre arts major and with the opportunities Price has been given at Bethel, he has already had collegiate directing experience at the school. The first time he gave up his acting life to direct at Bethel was to be an assistant technical director for “Anne of Green Gables.” After this show, he took a leap of faith and was offered the position to be director of the play, “Like Watchmen.” This play was a struggle for Price at times because it was the first time this show had ever been performed. “It had its challenges because you could see other plays and look at pictures, but you couldn’t (with ‘Like Watchmen’) because you had to create it out of nothing,” said Price. What separates Price from his classmates is the fact that in a few months, he will be the first Bethel student ever to direct a musical. In the fall of 2017, Price will direct “Godspell” in the intimate location of the Octorium at Bethel College. Deb Swerman, Director of Acting at Bethel College, described the process that the department had to go through before it was announced that he would direct this show. “The theatre department discussed (who would be the director) and then asked for my recommendation and it was definitely Alex because he was in my directing class,” Swerman said. Not only is Price respected by his peers, he is also very respected by his fellow professors. Swerman described what sets him apart from everyone else. “He shows the maturity, talent and the drive to get it done,” said Swerman. “He showed a lot of interest.” To say the least, Price is very excited to get the chance to direct a show with a small cast of 10 people. “It’s a very different musical…the most different musical that Bethel has ever done and it’s unheard of for someone in an undergrad program to be directing a musical,” said Price. When talking to Price, he said that not many people know what “Godspell” is about, so he told us what makes it such an impactful show. “Godspell is literally parables of Matthew,” said Price. “It’s a group of eight people at the beginning of the show, they start out separate, but when Jesus comes, they come together.” In the end, the show is all about parables and the actors and actresses that will be casted, will even play games like Pictionary with audience members during the show. It will not be an easy road for Price to get this show to perfection. He will only have four weeks before he enters tech week, and only seven days to fully block the show. Though because of all of the experience Price has had in and outside of Bethel, it will be achievable for him. “(The cast and crew) will have to be very creative in where we are going to put the live band, but I’m not so worried about it,” said Price. When talking to Swerman about her favorite qualities of Price, her response couldn’t have been sweeter. “There’s too many, well one of the things that really impresses me about him is that he is such a gentleman,” said Swerman. “He’s being introduced (to other), and he’s so mature and knows the exact thing to say and how to present himself. He follows up with an email anytime he meets anyone.” Not only has Price made an impact on his classmates with what he brings to the table, he has impacted his professors along the way with his demeanor. “I look at him as a proud teacher. He’s down to earth and makes me laugh every day,” said Swerman.

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