DART students prepare single-act plays

The Department of Dramatic Arts is gearing up to host this year’s One Acts Festival “Balancing Acts”, occurring April 2 and 3 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA). The event will be held in the Dramatic Arts Theatre and tickets will be available at the door on a pay-what-you-can basis.

“The festival is really great because it’s student driven. Students propose the shows, are involved in the casting, and act in the festival,” said faculty advisor, Mike Griffin. “This year we have a fantastic range of plays.”

The One Acts Festival features a collection of hand picked plays from students in the Directing Two class and feature student actors as well.

To participate in the One Acts Festival (the final project for DART 3P54), students must first take the Directing One class, and then apply to be a part of the Directing Two class. The application must list what play the students wish to put on and what its relevance to the Brock community is. Once approved, auditions for the student actors that will be featured in each of the plays take place in January – this year’s auditions had 45 students come out.

One DART student — Alex Jackson — selected Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape for his submission.

“It’s a very out there play,” said Jackson. “It’s a bit obscurest and it invites the audience to really take in all the complication of what’s going on. The play follows a man named Krapp who listens to tapes he records every year on his birthday that reflect on his previous year. It’s about him trying to discover where his decisions and choices led him in life; he embarks on this path of self-discovery.”

“In today’s society, we have this tendency to want to document and record everything through our social media,” said Jackson on why he believed Krapp’s Last Tape would resonate with students at Brock.

Jackson, who has been studying at Brock since 2011, and experienced the transition from the main campus to the new downtown facilities (MIWSFPA), had nothing but positive things to say about the school’s drama department.

“I love the Dramatic Arts department at Brock. Everyone here has prepared me well in my training and made it so that I’m confident in the skills and tools they gave me,” said Jackson. “It’s such a close-knit community – everyone just gets it. I’m proud to be a future alumni and it’s comforting to know that I’ll be welcomed back here years down the road.”

Fellow student, Dana Morin, chose Linda Eisenstein’s A Rustle of Wings for her festival submission.

“My show is about a young woman, who upon meeting the enigmatic Jewell, begins to question everything. Though her friends don’t necessarily understand what she’s going through, Mira has to choose between what she knows and what she feels,” explained Morin.

However, outside of the creative vision of the students and the wide range of theatre styles and themes that One Acts includes, the students in DART 3P54 all agree that the best part about “One Acts” is the amazing opportunities it affords developing dramatic arts students.

“The One Acts Festival is really important because it brings together students who wouldn’t normally get a chance to work together,” said Morin. “It also allows students a chance to act outside of their performance classes.”

“One Acts brings out the theatre community and everyone is really supportive. All our directors are still learning and our actors are usually first or second year students who are still working to hone their craft. It’s a really great atmosphere and everyone is always very generous and giving,” added Griffin.

Make no mistake, while the students featured in the One Acts Festival may make their plays look like a smooth, piece of art, it’s actually a long, grueling process that begins in the fall and involves a great deal of hard work.

“Each year, the One Acts Festival puts on an array of short plays, that often leave audiences amazed at the type of material and content that can be found in 15-minute plays,” said DART student Cyrissa Chong. “I think that for some, the prospect of a 15-minute play seems simple, but in reality, there is so much that these plays offer.”

Fellow student Olivia Desousa added, “It’s challenging enough having to stay on top of course work, and directing a show is like taking another four courses. You’re not just directing; you also become the prop, costume, lighting and sound designer, all at the same time. It’s such a huge beast to tackle, but I’m always so impressed by the work that is created every year.”

The One Acts Festival will run for two days at the MIWSFPA (April 2 and 3) and will circulate two groups of plays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. both days.

Group A – April 2 at 2:00 p.m. & April 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Krapp’s Last Tape
By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Alex Jackson

A Rustle of Wings
By Linda Eisenstein
Directed by Dana Morin

Land of the Dead
By Neil Labute
Directed by Cyrissa Chong

The Anger of Ernest and Ernestine
By Robert Morgan, Martha Ross, Leah Cherniak
Directed by Olivia Desousa

Group B – April 2 at 7:00 p.m. & April 3 at 2:00 p.m.

By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Sydney Francolini

Finger Food
By Nina Shengold
Directed by Justin Reesor

By Tom McCamus
Directed by Cordell Piper

Mexico City
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Demetri TsiorosOne Acts is a great opportunity to see fellow students and their work shine in the Brock community and a can’t miss.

Laura Sebben
Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

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