After director Luna Alexander’s production of Fugue for The New Theatre Project (TNTP) at the Mix Studio Theatre in Ypsilanti closed in December, Sarah Lucas’s production of A Body of Water prepared to open in the same intimate space—featuring Luna Alexander. (See Events, Jan. 20).

Homeschooled through middle school, Alexander fell in love with acting after appearing in a Huron High School production of Wit. She turned down a soccer scholarship at EMU to study theater—not a surprising choice for the daughter of people who met while doing a show at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater.

Last season, TNTP artistic director Keith Paul Medelis extended the run of a show, and an actor had to drop out to honor another commitment. Alexander stepped in, and the heightened level of sensitivity and clarity she brought to the role took the show from just OK to top-notch. “She is incredibly selfless, and that’s a fantastic quality in an actor as well as a human being,” says Medelis. “She brings everyone into a scene with her, and the scene is automatically better.” Recently, Medelis invited her to direct Fugue, which she staged with the same confidence and energy she brings to roles she performs.

Alexander says she gives every performance for her mother, who died three years ago. She’s appeared in the Performance Network’s Fireside Festival of New Works and at other area theaters; she’s designed costumes, too—all while working on her degree at EMU, where she’ll graduate this year.

A Body of Water is produced by Sarah Lucas’s new theater company, Threefold Productions. Lucas, a 2010 EMU grad, says she wants to push the boundaries of traditional theater “by making strong script choices and incorporating bold design elements that force the audience into the action of the play.” Lucas hopes working in the same space as TNTP will help build an audience for her new company.

Alexander may help both theaters thrive. She studies a story’s time and place to help create her characters. “If you understand a character’s environment, that’s half the battle of understanding their behavior,” she says, adding that she focuses on voice and body movements. “Acting,” says the former soccer player, “is as physical a job as any sport.”