One act plays are a way for theater students to present new ideas that are expressed in ways that people of this generation feel like sharing, said Michael McIntyre, director of theater at the University of Jamestown.
“A one act is a trial by fire, testing your work in front of other people,” he said.
As the final UJ theater event of the school year, students are presenting three original and contemporary works as An Evening of One Acts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at DeNault Auditorium in the Reiland Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $8 at the door or at the UJ box office.
It’s important to keep presenting as many new plays as possible to give students more opportunities to create original work, McIntyre said. These students have a very strong interest in play writing and it’s important to perform it in front of an audience and to hear the feedback.
“That is really valuable,” he said.
Kenady Hansen, a senior in exercise science and a theater minor, wrote “Lessons in Weaving,” that is being directed by classmate Amanda Arvay. Six student actors, Brenna LeMier, Sierra McKeever, Jamie Czapiewsk, iMadisin Knutson, Allison Galbreath and Dylan Ossachuck, will bring her story to life.
The story follows a troubled young man in his 20s who is sent to live with his grandmother who is terminally ill.
“It’s kind of about her teaching the lessons that he needs to learn before she’s gone,” Hansen said.
Arvay, a junior English education major with a theater minor, said she enjoys directing Hansen’s play. It’s full of puns and has a good blend of comedy and some deep emotional moments, she said.
“It’s very Kenady,” Arvay said. “It is a story from a different generation’s point of view and with sympathy for other people.”
Arvay went through the playwriting class last year and she said it is a good experience now to be able to direct a story. She wants to stay true to the script but to find that natural balance for the actors becoming the characters who tell the story.
“The director wants to present a solid idea to the audience that they can take away,” Arvay said.
Hansen will direct “A New Narrator,” a play written by fellow student Allison Galbreath. The cast includes Stephanie Jorritsma, MyKayla Williams, Carly Fuhrman and Riley Akervik.
A woman replaces the narrator for a stage production, she said. But she doesn’t care for the narration and begins ad libbing her own dialogue as a princess, a knight and a dragon perform the action on stage.
Directing is taking creative leave of someone's story, Hansen said. The director wants to find that deeper or different meaning while respecting the intention of the playwright’s work, she said.
“It is fun to see what somebody else takes from that,” she said.
The third one act play is “Resonances,” written by Stephanie Jorritsma and directed by Tori Goodale, includes a cast of five student actors: Carrie Noel, Meggie Cronin, ReeAnn Christianson, Emma Bennett, and Nicholas Schaff.