All about Trey Hale, director of ‘Gaieties 2015: Chem 31XXX’

Nov. 16, 2015, 7:13 p.m.

Sophomore Trey Hale is currently in the process of directing Ram’s Head Theatrical Society’s fall show, “Gaieties 2015: Chem 31XXX.” I was lucky enough to snatch him for a chat about everything from his vision for the annual program to some unforeseen challenges faced in the making of his directorial debut.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): How did you first become involved with “Gaieties?”

Trey Hale (TH): I did “Gaieties” last year as a freshman — I was a cast member. I heard about it on a visit here to Stanford before I applied. It sounded like the wacky theatrical experience I wanted to have and as a freshman, I kind of just jumped right in!

TSD: What drew you to direct “Gaieties” this year? Did you want to bring something new to it you hadn’t seen before?

TH: After being involved, the community was so strong and so impactful to my experience as a freshman; I really saw how it brought together these people from all over campus. I wanted to have a bigger role in that and to experience it from the point of view that I could facilitate more communities being brought into the “Gaieties” family.

TSD: What was your artistic vision for “Gaieties” and how did you bring this vision to life?

TH: “Gaieties” is interesting because it’s such a long tradition — 104 years now — so it’s so deeply rooted in traditions that [started] from the very beginning. As a director, what I wanted to get out it of this year was to bring in representation that hasn’t been seen onstage in “Gaieties” yet, and as an arts community I think we still have a long way to go in representation. This year’s “Gaieties” is taking steps towards that — we have some queer representation, which I think is a great step and something I’m really excited about.

TSD: What obstacles did you face directing this piece?

TH: The cast is 22 people, and they’re all very outgoing, loud, passionate people, so it’s kind of like corralling an elementary school classroom at times — that’s just something that’s the nature of “Gaieties.” So keeping control of the cast. And because it’s such a large production on the MemAud stage with lights, costuming, set, there’s a lot of communication and collaboration that needs to happen, so being a part of that process as the head of the artistic side and bridging the gap with the technical was a learning experience.

TSD: Can you expand on that?

TH: The producers and the head writers were the first ones involved in the process, and then I was hired, so I am very connected with the producer. The head writers have been pretty present in the process. They come to the design runs and give their input, and then I chat with them about what they envisioned for this and try to stay true to that as well as going into my own artistic route.

TSD: What else have you directed? How has directing “Gaieties” differed from your previous experiences?

TH: In high school, I directed two shows and assistant directed two shows — all four were musicals. Back there in Missouri, it was much more hands-on for me in terms of the scope of what I was in charge of. People weren’t in specific roles, it was kind of me doing everything. I would have to build the set, and also the props, and also [choreograph] and [direct], so it was all across the board.

TSD: So you think that you’ve found your process as a director more through “Gaieties?”

TH: Yes, definitely. Before, I was so distracted in everything else and this way I can just focus on the story that we’re trying to tell through “Gaieties” this year.

TSD: What do you hope people gain when they come to see “Gaieties?”

TH: “Gaieties” is an interesting situation in that it is a huge production. A lot of time goes into it — it really is a real theatrical endeavor and the rest of campus comes and it’s a very fun Stanford spirit kind of event. I want it to still be that kind of great, engaging, exciting experience for the audience that is also visually entertaining and very polished and put together. I think it’s an expression of Stanford — people are always talking about the cliche of Stanford energy. I really do feel like “Gaieties” embodies that and I hope that through “Gaieties,” Stanford students can come and fall in love with Stanford again.

Gaieties 2015:Chem 31XXX performs Nov. 18-20 at Memorial Auditorium. For tickets, visit



Contact Bella Wilcox at belwilc at

Bella Wilcox is a senior studying Communication and Theater and Performance Studies. She is a writer for Stanford Journalism's Peninsula Press and her poetry will be featured in the upcoming edition of the Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies. Her original play will premiere on campus this spring. Bella is a freelance DJ and concert planner.

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