Every semester, a group of film students put on a show of spectacular one-act plays in the Black Box Theater. These plays are both student-written and previously published student works that span across different genres and storylines. The one-acts provide a unique theater show while creating an amazing experience for everyone involved in the class.
Taught by Cara Wilder and Tom Delgado, “Theater Production” is a class provided by the School of Film & Photography where the students get to direct, produce, act in and possibly even write their own one-act plays. The students in the class are encouraged to create original works for the class to perform, making it a new experience for many students. “The written works and the shows are fully student-produced,” Delgado said. “The original works are brought into us from students and we judge it as a class to give them critiques on their work.” Delgado continued, “When the changes we recommend are added, we repeat the process until the scripts are where we want them to be, which usually takes around two or three weeks. This semester, we landed on three original pieces.” The type of plays range from comedy, to dramedies, to being full-on dramatic plays. As a whole, the show is split into two acts; the first being the three original pieces written by students and the second act is four somewhat unknown published works making for a full run-time of around two hours.
A more dramatic original work is “Smalltown Soliloquy.” Written by Hannah Cubbage and directed by Molly Kisthart, “Smalltown Soliloquy” takes place in a small town where violence has run amuck. Though it is student written, the play is incredibly unique in the way it’s written and performed. Rather than traditional play structure, this play is illustrated through a series of monologues, making it unlike most other works. The monologues range from being about abusive relationships, to torrid affairs, to shootings. Although it’s on the serious side of writing, “Smalltown Soliloquy” is a unique experience that can appeal to many audiences.
Erring on the more dramatic-comedy side is “Another Brick in the Wall.” This unique take on relationship problems is written by Stanley Draper and directed by Mac Palin. This dark comedy follows a woman, Dee, who believes that her husband Marty isn’t being loyal. The uniqueness of this play primarily comes from its setting, as the first half takes place outside of a door, which is where the title comes from. At the beginning, the two main characters are having a conversation through a door. Eventually, one of the characters kicks in the door. Although the premise of this play is serious, there are still comedic elements scattered throughout, which creates a nice transition from the solely serious and comedic writing of the other original pieces.
The final original script that will be featured in the series of one-acts is a comedic Shakespearean comedy named “Teddy the 2nd.” Written by Mac Palin and directed by Tyler Weil, “Teddy the 2nd” is a light-hearted comedy that pokes fun of the abundance of Shakespearean tropes. In “Teddy the 2nd,” a Shakespearean actor gets hit on the head and suddenly everything around him seems to turn into a Shakespeare play. Once the actor gets hit on the head, the writing shifts from the original writing to iambic pentameter, the style of writing of every Shakespearean play. A parody of Shakespeare, some may think that they won’t understand most of the jokes. However, the witty writing makes many of the jokes apparent to everyone, causing the play to be remarkably witty for Shakespeare fans and non-Shakespeare fans alike.
The second act will feature four published pieces. Writer David Ives’s “Sure Thing” and Acting Group Parallel Lives’ “Annette & Gina” are both directed by Mackenzie Williams. “Sure Thing” takes place in a coffee shop. The main setting is a table with a bell on it. As two people have a conversation at the table, the bell rings and the style of the scene changes. The changes are small but noticeable making for an interesting, fast-paced experience for the audience and actors alike. “Annette & Gina” is a satirical piece focusing on female relationships. Taking place in a high school in New York, two girls watch “West Side Story” and rethink their perceptions of relationships. The humorous, but vastly different plays creates two unique experiences for the viewers and creates an incredible experience for Williams.
The plays take place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, 9, and 10 at the Black Box Theater. Tickets are $10 for students or $12 for general audiences and can be purchased in advance or at the door.
If you’re a theater lover, want to support an amazing class or just want to get away from the stress of finals week for a couple of hours, the One-Acts at the Black Box is the perfect way to be entertained for an affordable price.