TAD Alum Directs for At Home Artists Projects First Birthday: A Short Play Festival

Loyola Department of Theatre Arts & Dance 2017 graduate Amanda Alch directed Katie Phone Home for First Birthday: A Short Play Festival, a live-streamed play festival put on by the At Home Artists Project as its final piece of online theatre. The profits from the live-stream benefited the artists involved and the Transgender Law Center.

Alch said she submitted her resume to the festival through Playbill, interviewed a month or two later, and soon after was able to have her pick of three plays. She chose Katie Phone Home, a show starring three women including TAD alumni Emma Lovas and Saisha Lee. 

“It is a career focus of mine to tell women's stories so Katie Phone Home was the best fit,” she said. Alch said that the nature of the play being set in a scrapbook also allowed her to play with the medium of online theatre by using color, graphics, and filters.

Alch said she enjoyed working once again with Lovas and Lee.

“They both were two of my closest friends in my time at Loyola. Each of them bring so much talent and focus to the art,” she said.

Alch said Lovas is strong at bold comedy and that there was even a moment in the show in which she had to smear icing across her face. She said that Lee is striking onstage and brings warmth to every character she plays.

“Both actresses are so easy to work with! It made my directing job go so smoothly!” she said, noting that Loyola theatre offers incredible training. 

Although directing Lovas and Lee was easy for Alch, she said the actual livestream of the event was a bit bumpy. The stream faced technical difficulties and, in the end, Alch’s play had to be presented last when it was supposed to open the festival. 

“Theatre is live and technology is a new medium. There are complications with internet and with technology that we are still adjusting to during the pandemic,” she said.

Alch said that she doesn’t see Zoom theatre going away after the pandemic. She believes technology will continue to be blended with performance long after we can perform live and in-person again.

“The show was, as far as I am concerned, a great success,” she said. 


Alch is graduating this semester with her Masters in Directing from The Actors Studio Drama School and has plans to direct Birdbrain written by Kat Agudo for New York Theatre Festival's Summerfest this summer.