The week of one-acts
Theater major Jason Carubia, a senior said one-acts are short plays typically confined to a short period or location. Last Wednesday through Saturday, theater department students and Crescent Players presented “Jack of all Trades Master of One-Acts” in the Kendall Drama Lab of the Lyman Center.
One-act plays presented featured “HR,” “Lilies in the Valley,” “The Sausage Eaters,” “The Door” and “English Made Simple.” All plays were directed and performed by students to showcase the talent, skill and abilities of all Southern students in the theater department, Carubia said.
“The student directors were tasked with finding plays outside of their knowledge or plays that were not known to the Southern community,” said Carubia. “Those five different plays that showcase different themes and ideas play a good collection of different works to represent one-act form.”
The student directors were all part of a class in directing. Carubia said they were assigned to design concepts for the show, as well as coordinate publicity, design posters, hold auditions and find rehearsal space. The entire production, from lights and sound to makeup and costumes, he said, was student-driven.
Carubia directed the show “The Sausage Eaters” by Stephen Starosta. It told the story of an “obtuse” couple and their unlucky neighbors, suspected of a stealing a missing sausage. Carubia wanted to display “a truly unique piece that audiences would rarely get to experience,” according to his Director’s Note.
Another student director was sophomore and theater major Nomblé Tanner, who directed her first Southern show, “HR,” a play by Eric Coble about people in the workplace panicking over the possibility of Human Resources showing up. Tanner said she and the performers rehearsed twice a week for two to three hours over the course of two months.
“I like being in control, I feel like it’s where I naturally fit,” she said. “People should come see the [shows] because they’re done by the students. It’s very student based, and we need more student based things on campus, so I think everyone should come and support.”
Rachel Ellis, a junior and social work major, played the female protagonist in “Lilies in the Valley,” a play that focused on two different-raced characters being put on trial for falling in love.
“It was a lot of fun to bring the character to life,” said Ellis. “It had moments of comedy, and we had some really ridiculous moments, but I think that brings the audience into listening to what we have to say, so I think it got a message across.”
“Lilies in the Valley,” a play by Gavin Lawrence, was directed by senior and theater major Francie Ortiz, who said she wanted to feature a person of color in the main role to further the diversity in Southern’s theater program. She said the message she hoped the play got across was that people should not be judged by the things they cannot control.
“It’s taking everything we’re leaning in the classrooms into an actual production because this is what we end up doing when we get paid to do this job,” she said. “We worked really hard on this, and we’ve literally put everything we have had into it.”
Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo