Student directors to present an evening of one-act plays this week

Each year, all theatre majors and most theatre production minors publicly stage a short one-act play as their capstone experience, bringing together their knowledge and experience into a realized production.

This year’s One-Act Play Festival will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 16 and 17, and will feature three short plays, all of which are directed by students and put on by students.

Admission is free and open to public, for mature audiences only.

Theatre Professor Kenneth Hill oversees the work of the student directors. “The One-Act Play Festival allows the seniors to draw on all of the experience they have had for the past four years, both in the classroom and working on productions, and present a performance that comes from their own unique vision of the theatre,” Hill says. “Their work is seen and evaluated by all the members of the theatre department and by a large public audience of their professors, peers and people in the community.”

This year’s student directors and their productions are: Anders Goodwin ’15 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who is directing “ Crazy Eights,” by David Lindsay-Abaire; Ali LaPidus ’15 of Glencoe, Illinois, who is directing “Naomi in the Living Room,” by Christopher Durang; and Stephen Umhoefer ’15 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, who is directing “A Number on the Roman Calendar,” by David Johnston.

“I am enjoying the process immensely,” Goodwin says. “It’s great to see the process of making theatre from a director’s perspective, and it is certainly informing my work as a theatre practitioner. The control I have over the process is both freeing and a bit imposing — everything from the lighting to the costumes to the actors’ movement — is all under my control, and, thus, I have a lot of freedom to mold the play in the ways I desire. I am excited to have such an excellent cast, and I feel up to the challenge of directing, thanks to my professors in the theatre department.”

Umhoefer adds, “So far, my experience as a director has been very engaging. The actors are still in the process of learning lines, but the progress they have made so far makes me very excited. It’s a lot of fun working with the actors to help create the mood and atmosphere of the show. So far, I’ve caught glimpses of the potential I know this show has, and that makes me very hopeful going forward in rehearsal.”

Andrea Schulner ’16
Caledonia, Wisconsin

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