top of page

One Act Play 2022 - 
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Adapted by Dwayne Hartford from the book by Kate DiCamillo

Below is an overview of the process I went through as the Assistant Director for Cypress Ridge High School's production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane directed by Michelle Nguyen.


During my final spring semester in college, I was the assistant director for Cypress Ridge High School’s UIL One Act Play production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We rehearsed for 4 weeks prior to our first contest day, and advanced from District to Bi-District, before earning alternate at the Bi-District level. I am very grateful and proud of getting to work with Michelle Nguyen and the students at Cy-Ridge on this wonderful production, and I will always remember this experience.

My experience as an assistant director was genuinely what I think of the role of an assistant director should be. I always had a voice, and worked closely with Ms. Nguyen throughout the process. As rehearsals progressed, I also worked with the students on creating ensemble and working in unison together by doing movement exercises.


The technical aspects of the play were fun to find and create, as there were so many moving parts to this story. We decided to keep the base set very simplistic, with 2 main acting areas, and space in center stage as well for big moments. Then we used 7 crates – one for each actor in the ensemble – to create the different environments and settings throughout the play (though we originally experimented with chairs).

On the set we added two sheer curtains on either side of the stage, and hung string lights behind it, to create a starry sky effect. With the theme of the design going with the play, we wanted to keep elements as simple as we could, which is why we didn’t go with projections for the stars.

Edward Tulane Prop
Edward Mascot

We had 7 rabbit dolls that represented Edward throughout his journey, and I was the one who researched and found outfits for the dolls in their respective environments. Originally, I was going to make the dolls from scratch, but due to time constraints, we bought a set of dolls instead. The rest of the props were kept minimal and simplistic, almost like found items to support the story, but not overtake it. And before our District contest, I got a mascot for the students to have in the dressing room with us, our very own "Edward."

At District, it didn’t really hit me that we might advance until right before they announced it at the award ceremony. I was mostly just thankful and proud of the students and their work leading up to it. At Bi-District, we went first, and the students’ performance was their strongest run. I was immensely proud of their work and dedication in telling the story, it was absolutely beautiful. The judge who gave us our critique after even said she could see the love the students had for the story.


One of my favorite scenes in the play is what we called the "dream sequence." It is Edward's literal breaking point, and it was such a heartfelt scene to direct and watch. This video to the side is from a rehearsal towards the end of the rehearsal process, where we reached what we wanted for our performance at Bi-District.

Though I am disappointed we did not advance out of Bi-District, I would still go back and do it all over again. The hard work and dedication of the students, as well as the fun we all had together made the journey what it was. The students really put in the work, and they did what they set out to do - tell a story. Not that there wasn't the competition element, but that's what theatre is in the end, a place where you go to hear and share stories.


Overall, I am still proud of the work the students put in, and their commitment to telling the story. “If you have no intention to love, and be loved, then the whole journey is pointless.” That’s something that the Old Doll says to Edward towards the end of the play, and I think it fits this journey that I had as well. Without the students and Ms. Nguyen, and all our commitment to this play, it wouldn’t have been what it was. A journey. I hope the students took that away from it as well, and that they continue to love and be loved as they move forward in their lives.

"If you have no intention to love, and be loved, then the whole journey is pointless."
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

bottom of page