15:05 PM

Drama Major Directs Play

Dylan Smail, wearing glasses and a Renaissance costume, holds a dummy head in a play.Although his passion for theater stretched all the way back to middle school, senior Dylan Smail did not originally intend to pursue the Drama major when he began UST as a freshman. In fact, he planned to limit his theater involvement to extracurricular activities while he studied a more traditional program. However, his plans changed when he took an Acting I class during his first semester.

“When I walked into the Drama Department, I just fell in love,” he said. “The people were so welcoming and nice and the professors were great and very helpful. It just felt comfortable here, and I just knew that I had to be a drama major.”

Boldly Directing A Full-Length Play

Since coming to UST, Smail has been involved in every single production approximately 16 shows put on by the school. From stage management to lighting to acting, he has experience working in every job needed to run a successful show. In fact, he directed one of the short plays featured in “Ampersand 2.0.” This vast range of work experience culminates in his role as director of the upcoming production, Don Zolidis’s “The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered.”

A murder-mystery comedy, “The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered” follows the eccentric cast of a struggling soap opera. Threatened with cancellation, they are locked inside the studio and forced to film an entire episode over one night. However, things take a turn when the director is murdered.

“This show is just so funny. I’ve read it so many times and I still laugh at the jokes,” Smail said. “Just to see it on the stage and to see the actors’ spin on everything is just so hilarious.”

As the director, Smail chose the play himself and oversaw the casting auditions. When he was not in class, he helped to build the set by assisting in the painting of the floor and backdrop. The unique layout of the performance venue, he said, allows him to activate his creativity.

“If it were at different university, I don’t think it would be as intimate as it is here,” Smail said. “I have to take a lot more creative liberties in order to make sure that the audience is getting the best show possible. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do at a bigger campus that had a proscenium stage, because that would be simpler and I don’t want it to be simpler. I want it to be more complicated. I want to be more creative.”

Drama Teacher in the Making

After graduation this May, Smail’s tentative plan is to enroll in the Master of Education program here at UST. With the MEd, he could fulfill his dream of working as a drama teacher.

“I’ve had a lot of great moments at this department,” he said. “It’s going to be sad when I have to leave. There have been a lot of great moments, but I’m really looking forward to this moment with ‘The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered.’”

“The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered” premieres April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

  • When: April 4 - 6, 7:30 p.m (Matinee: April 6, 2 p.m.)
  • Where: University of St. Thomas Department of Drama

                        3910 Yoakum

                        Houston, TX 77006

Buy your tickets here.


Want to learn more about UST’s award-winning Drama program? Get in touch to learn about how UST is ready to welcome you!

Story by Katie Fleming