Avital Stolar began to feel nostalgic as she walked into the Black Box Theater for the first time in five years. It was where she fell in love with drama. Now, it is where she is directing the three one-act plays, “Blizzard,” “Interest” and “Precipice.”
The one-acts will take to the Black Box stage on Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m.
“The one-act plays are all relatively funny in different ways,” Stolar said. “They will be enjoyable.”
Stolar (’08) graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and later the University of Exeter with a degree in applied theater. She adopted a unique directing style from her experiences in college.
“Working with a script is bringing me back to my roots, but it still feels new because I like to create plays as a group,” Stolar said.
Stolar originally intended to major in play-writing when she started university, but a watchful teacher noticed something interesting about her work.
“My play-writing teacher came to me one day to talk about my work,” Stolar said. “He noticed that all of my stories involved young protagonists. I realized that whenever I tried to involve an adult, I would always change the character to a kid.”
Her interest in youth led her to become a teacher.
“During high school was when I first started working with young people, and that path made more sense later,” Stolar said.
She desires to not just be a drama teacher but also to instill values in her students.
“I am interested in helping my students face the issues and pressures of growing up,” Stolar said. “I want to guide them and help them feel in control of the process.”
Students have enjoyed her innovative way of teaching drama.
“Her passion for acting and directing is always apparent, and I can tell that she really loves what she does,” junior Mia Saade said. “She is incredibly compassionate and relaxed in a way that makes rehearsals very fun, and to have fun is ultimately the main reason to participate in theater at SJS.”
Stolar has adopted a novel teaching style.
“Ms. Stolar has a plush frog named Claudius, and whoever has the frog has permission to speak. Everyone loves playing with Claudius,” Saade said.
Stolar’s methods also inspire self-reflection and dramatic development.
“She gives me interesting things to think about involving both my play’s character and my personal character,” sophomore Sabina Madland said.
Stolar is known for her personality and charisma as well.
“She is such a beast—such a firecracker!” sophomore Julia Boyce said.