Cyclone Spotlight: Hannah Rublaitus, student director for ’25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’

Liz Cleaveland

Next in line to be performed at Iowa State’s Fisher Theater is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Hannah Rublaitus, sophomore in performing arts, will be playing the dictionary-loving “Olive.” Interested in the directing aspect of theatre, Rublaitus hopes that getting her bachelor’s degree in performing arts at Iowa State will open the doors that will lead her to a successful life.

How many shows have you been in?

I lost count but it’s at least over 20.

When did you start becoming involved in the theater industry?

I started in second grade with my first show, “Tales from 5 Continents.” I went to go see a show and I asked my mom to talk to the director about joining. A couple months later I had my first audition for “Version of Pinocchio,” and I fell in love with theater.  

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from being in theater?

Just being yourself. Everybody in theater is very unique and they really play on that. It’s more of a passion for us than a career choice.

Are you interested in directing any specific genre?

I prefer comedy because it’s so much fun. Drama’s fun, too, but there’s this kind of energy you get from directing a comedy show; you get excited to go to every rehearsal.

What’s the hardest part about becoming a director?

At times it’s hard to have your patience. I’ve directed a few shows but they’ve all been with ages 10 to 14, and they can get pretty crazy pretty fast. You have to be able to contain yourself in order to manage them and teach them how to act.

Where were those shows?

I directed with two different community theaters in Iowa City. One of them was a kids community theater and the other was more varied in ages; they’d have a high school during the summer and the rest of the season they’d have shows for adults. The children’s show was called “Poultry in Motion” and the second show I directed with high school students was “Shrek the Musical.” It was phenomenal.

Who’s your biggest inspiration as far as directing goes?

I would say anybody I meet. They’re all my inspiration, there isn’t one person. Seeing them all have this passion is so invigorating and fun. In a world where people have to choose a career, whether they like it or not, and go along with it and be miserable, I’m glad there’s theater where I can be happy and love what I do.

What’s your plan for the future as far as your interest in directing goes?

There are a few directing classes here with the theatre department that I’ll be taking. I really enjoy directing as much as I enjoy acting. I’d like to try Chicago and try to gain my equity there unless I can find another place that would be just as good because I know there are other places around the country.