Students direct one-act play
Madeline Scharf – Reporter
Two students directed, preformed, and managed plays were put on for the university’s theater one-act plays. The plays were “With This Ring” by Kimberly Barger and “Insufficiency” by Carl Djerassi. Students Kori Ligon and Ariana Harris directed each play, respectively.
“With This Ring” was a raunchy, comedic play about a man trying to retrieve his ring from his ex-fiancé. Through funny mishaps, he ends up finding out why the wedding was called off and, with help from his best friend, gets re-engaged.
“Insufficiency” was a trial play, with twists and turns much like a crime show. The audience followed along to see if the main character, a chemistry professor, murdered his co-workers for not giving him tenure.
Director Ariana Harris described in a director note why the play “Insufficiency” was chosen for the one-acts, despite its slightly complicated chemistry plot. “I’d like to think that even audience members outside the realm of academia can see themselves, their coworkers, and their friends and relatives in the characters. Everyone knows jerks like Jerzy and sweethearts like Steffy, even if they don’t know about bubble-induced aggregation,” said Harris in the director’s note.
A lot of work went into making these plays a reality. Theater major Nick Moran, a sophomore, worked in sound design for “With This Ring” and sound engineer for both productions. “Sound design is the audio aspect of theatrical design,” said Moran in an email interview. “All the sound effects, music, the way actors sound through the microphone and the way everything else sounds is all done by the sound designer.”
COVID-19 has created new challenges for the theater department to work around. “COVID-19 has required us to basically introduce another new department,” said Moran, “everything needs to be streamed or recorded instead of watched by a live audience.”
The concerns over COVID-19 have made the productions a bit more difficult. Sociology major Rain Iaccarino, a freshman, is stage manager for “With This Ring” and assistant stage manager for “Insufficiency”. “COVID-19 has changed how we work. We are all wearing masks and making extra efforts to stop the spread,” said Iaccarino in an email interview. “It was difficult at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly.”
Working on these productions has been a fun activity for many a part of the cast and crew. “Sometimes, it could be pretty stressful,” said Moran. “But it was also incredibly rewarding and something I’m very glad to have been apart of. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
These two plays were put into the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). In a statement written for the playbook, it was described why the productions were entered. “By entering this production, our theater department is sharing in the KCACTF goals to recognize, reward, and celebrate the exemplary work produced in colleges and theater across the nation,” said the playbook.
The KCACTF is a program established in former President John F. Kennedy’s name. Their goals are to “invite art into the lives of all Americans and ensure it represents the cultural diversity of America,” according to a statement on their website.
The plays ran from Apr. 29 to May 1. There were four shows in total, one every night of the three days at 7:30 P.M. and another on May 1 at 2:00 P.M.
The weeks of work that went into these productions paid off and ended with two great plays. “Congrats to the directors for working so hard and yielding such wonderful productions,” said Iaccarino.
The students who acted and worked the play were excited for the final product. “I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work,” said Moran. “I hope everyone who tunes in enjoys it.”