Conversations with Nicholas Reifler

Junior takes on the world of directing

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Conversations with Nicholas Reifler


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Junior Nicholas Reifler has always had an undying passion for theater. He landed his first role as a rabbit in an elementary school production of The Billy Goats Gruff, and ever since then, he has been fully immersed in the performing arts. From running sound and lights to being the starring role on stage, Reifler is now entering the world of directing.

“I have always wanted to show other people what I am capable of doing with my acting abilities, but I am also very entertained by watching other people,” Reifler said. “This is why I think I am suitable for directing. I get to be all the characters while watching everyone perform.”

In the beginning of February, Reifler’s self-directed one-act piece Conversations with Other Humans premiered at Trinity Prep. The script for Conversations with Other Humans was pulled from three mini-plays that Reifler hand-picked to fit a 30-minute time frame. In the first semester of this school year, Reifler worked on planning and casting roles for the one-act. The cast members were given scripts to memorize over Winter Break, and Conversations with Other Humans was rehearsed primarily in January. Both Reifler and the cast worked in a specific time restraint, which caused Reifler to take on a looser approach to his normal upfront directing style.

“I like to tell people where to look, how to move and how every moment should pass,” Reifler said.

This time, however, he allowed the actors to take the initial artistic discretion, which he then critiqued and later perfected.

The one-act is comprised of three different scenes that are weaved together by using modern-day communication and technology as commentary concerning the underlying problem of a lack of face-to-face interaction in today’s society. The witty dialogue of each character prevails through each scene to convey this main theme in something that Reifler calls his own type of humor. From two friends who have just been reunited, to a girl who realizes that she is engaged to a werewolf only after they finally meet in person, Reifler’s one-act was full of entertaining and surprising turns that were an exaggeration of how texting and modern day communication have negatively impacted society. A favorite among members of the audience was a scene in which a couple stays in contact only through text message. This scene characterized the different personalities that people can take on when they are not having a face-to-face conversation. Towards the end of the scene, the girl claims that “texting is safe.” Modern forms of communication have given us a way to think twice about what we say, and it is up to society to determine whether this is good or bad.

Reifler pulled many of his ideas for Conversations with Other Humans from his past stage and production experiences. He used techniques that he acquired when he directed the Greek tragedy, Electra, earlier this year for the Florida State Thespians competition. His directorial theme from Electra was being in the present, so Reifler kept that going for Conversations with Other Humans. He allowed the actors to bring their own interpretations of the play to the set.

“My idea is to always have your body free and ready so your acting comes naturally,” Reifler said. “I try to let that idea come into my directing, so I could be open about how the actors approached it.”

Reifler’s scenes were simple in design yet powerful in language and thought. They brilliantly exemplified modern forms of communication and exchanges of emotion. So far, Conversations with Other Humans has only premiered on the Trinity stage, and Reifler is unsure of what his next piece will be. However, he claims that theater as a whole has made a huge impact on his life. Theater is an art that is culturally inclusive of everything, and Reifler believes that in order to interpret it correctly, you have to be open and accepting of what you see.

“It’s helped me be more culturally aware of society,” Reifler said. “When you’re acting, you get to be different people, and you’re putting yourself in a different environment all the time.”

Reifler is planning to major in the Performing Arts in college, but for now, his aspirations are simple.

“I just want to be a part of theater,” Reifler said.