Western theatre presents student-directed short plays

By Stephanie Blair
 Staff Writer

Next week, April 16-18, Western theatre students will have their annual chance to show off their directing prowess.

Students who have completed the two directing courses on campus, Directing and Advanced Directing, both taught by Professor Michael Phillips, will be showing one act plays.

This year, three students have stepped up and chosen the plays for this year.

Natalie Piper, fourth-year senior theatre major, has selected “A Chance Meeting” by Frederick Stroppel, starring Janelle Davis, Zach Warner, and Nathaniel Dunaway. The show depicts a married couple attempting to spice up their love life by exploring fantasy role-playing, but when an old friend cluelessly stumbles into the picture, things get messy.

“The student-directed one acts, I feel, are really for the students, by the students, so I picked something I thought they would enjoy,” Piper said.

The second show in the program, “The Mice Have Been Drinking Again” by Cleve Haubold, starring Belladina Starr, Declan Hertel, Samantha Dunaway and Andrew Thornton, is directed by BFA acting major Nick Kintz. The show, set in the 1970s, is filled with hippies, gurus, and slapstick humor.

“It is the story of a newly married couple and their attempt to get their Zen-Buddhist cousin and roommate out of the house.” Kintz said. “It has been a blast to direct such a talented and versatile group of actors, who really know how to entertain!”

The festival roster concludes with “Find of the Century” by Western’s own Nathaniel Dunaway. The one act stars Lindsay Spear and Patrick Willett in a drama about a turn-of-the-century archaeologist and the mysterious young woman who knows the secret behind his latest discovery, directed by BFA acting major Trevor Jackson.

“Directing is a strange craft; it requires talent as well as authority,” Jackson said.
“It’s the marriage of art and leadership, and it makes for a wild, student-led night.”

This year’s festival will be held in the black box theater of Rice Auditorium, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. The performance is free to students with an ID.

For more information, please contact the theater department at theaterdance@wou.edu or call the Rice Auditorium box office at 503-838-8462.