The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Artist Spotlight: Kate Bettez ’23, Lily Groff ’25 lift curtain on student productions

As a director, Kate Bettez ’23 is tasked with blocking scenes, coordinating with the music team and giving notes to actors. (Photo courtesy of @marquisplayers on Instagram)

When Kate Bettez ‘23 first joined the Marquis Players, she was a first-year student looking for opportunities on campus. Now, in her senior year, she is directing the Players’ spring production of “Footloose: The Musical.”

“It’s been definitely really scary but also super rewarding,” Bettez said. “It’s the most challenging thing I’ve done but also the most fun, most exciting.”

Elected by her peers to direct the production, Bettez has shed her self-doubt and insecurities to lead her fellow Marquis Players.

“I’ve been super lucky to get a ton of respect and appreciation from the people around me,” Bettez said. “But I think, honestly, the biggest doubter is myself, and so getting past kind of my own fear and insecurities has been very freeing.”

While Bettez is in charge of the actors and rehearsal, stage manager Lily Groff ‘25 manages the technical side of the show, prepping the stage crew and making sure the show runs smoothly from behind the scenes.

“Usually, during rehearsal, Kate is giving notes to the actors, like, ‘Here’s how to deliver this line. Here’s where to stand. Here’s how I want you to move and interact with each other,’” Groff said. “And I’m noting those kinds of things so that I can then pass them along.”

The Marquis Players production is mainly student-run, with students holding the majority of the leadership positions.

“In the college theater, the leadership positions are usually taken on by professors, or they’ll have professionals come in for things like lighting, design and costume design … Part of the appeal of working with Marquis Players is because it’s student-run,” Groff said.

Bettez and Groff have worked together on previous Marquis Players productions and are reuniting for “Footloose.”

“I really liked the way that [Bettez] works with all of the actors,” Groff said. “I feel like it can be hard to strike a balance between being friends with all those people and being a leader, and she’s doing a really good job of that. And I think everybody, me included, really respects her.”

Bettez finds that the hardest part of directing is keeping track of scheduling.

“Finding time for people to come to rehearsal has been a little tough. And also, there’s not a ton of spaces on Lafayette’s campus for a group like us,” Bettez said. “So we kind of bounce around a little bit from a few different places.”

A routine rehearsal for Bettez involves coordinating with the music team on choreography, while she works on blocking scenes not involving singing or dancing.

“Honestly, a lot of my job at rehearsal is checking things off of our list of the many, many things that we have to do. It’s a lot of managing people and, you know, making sure that everyone’s voices are heard.”

Overall, Bettez feels grateful that she has an incredible cast and a wonderful backstage team to help her direct.

“I’m so incredibly lucky to have the best people around being there,” Bettez said. “I think the biggest thing is just emphasizing how it really is just a giant team effort with so many people and everyone doing their job.”

Performances of “Footloose: The Musical” will be held from April 13 through April 15.

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About the Contributor
Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

Kristen Vincent ‘26 is an English Major and a Government and Law Minor. Aside from writing and editing for the newspaper, she is an EXCEL scholar, Writing Associate, LEO, and Secretary of the English Club. When she is not critiquing the latest biopic about a musician with a legendary past, she can be found working on her latest poem or rustling through the bargain bin at your local record store.

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