Ace, by Frederica Matumeak
Directed by Lara Lotze
Costume, Make-Up and Set Design Lara Lotze
Lighting Design Colby Freel
Photography Kade Mendelowitz
Ace was submitted as a film script for Famous For Fifteen, a selection of staged readings of scripts and screenplays put on by the UAF Student Drama Association every year. I loved it, and asked the author if she would rewrite it as a stage play for me. Since we couldn’t bring in many of the special effects available when working with video, we had to play around with how to change the the challenges in the script originally symbolizing fire, drowning, and falling from a great height into something that worked on stage.
I am grateful for the movement skills of actress Ariana Polanco, who became an elemental spirit to represent the threats and challenges of water, fire and ice for us.
I enjoyed being able to work directly with the author and the actors at the same time in my first experience as a director. Frederica was as open and curious as any of us as we explored the characters’ personalities and backgrounds during table work. The make-up and costumes were also an ongoing project as we explored how to make the characters work on stage, especially since everyone was involved in other Shorts that evening and we needed quick changes which would still convey the dramatic character shifts necessary for this piece. We found out exactly how long spirit gum takes to dry when trying to quickly turn an actor into a demon, and how to hide those horns under a hat without knocking them off!