CSU Theatre’s First Annual One-Act Play Festival

Colorado State University Theatre presents Two Gentlemen of Verona, a Shakespeare at Sunset production, directed by Laura Jones.

By Lauren Scott, Publicity Intern

When we think of theatre, images of a big Broadway musical, take Wicked or the latest smash Hamilton, may pop into our heads. Or maybe, we are more into watching one actor onstage with only a chair for a set. No matter what image comes to mind, the common thread for all of us is that we usually imagine the final product, the show onstage and in production.

But do we really know what all goes into making that final product what it is? Colorado State University Theatre has always prided itself on educating multi-talented actors and designers. For example, if I am an actor, I’m not only taking acting classes and working on methods based on Stanislavski or Meisner- I’m also taking costume design, working props for a performance, or taking the opportunity to stage manage. It works the same way for design students as well, where they are also part of varying acting classes along with courses focused on projections or costume design. This is what makes successful artists – being well-rounded and willing to get out of our boxes to learn something new.

This brings me to CSU’s first One-Act Play Festival. Student directed, designed, acted, and founded, this festival showcases what our department is all about.

Centered around Professor Laura Jones’s Directing I class, the festival calls on student directors to choose a one-act that follows these requirements: must be a piece published no later than 2010; includes a cast of 2-8 people; incorporates at least one digital design aspect; includes costume and makeup elements; and finally, sticks to a budget of no more than $50. For anyone who has put any sort of artistic project together, you know this final requirement is a tough one. But it is put in place to further the creative process for those involved.

Dr. Jones describes this competition as an important opportunity for students to “experience first-hand the rigors and requirements of the rehearsal and production process from the director’s point of view.”

The original idea for the festival came from graduating Senior Mason Weiss. Both Weiss and Dr. Jones understood that putting together and performing scenes in the classroom lacked one critical component to the theatrical experience – a live audience. “Nothing beats witnessing the reactions of a live audience to complement the feedback from their peers,” explains Dr. Jones.

And, don’t forget, this is a competition, too. Preliminary rounds take place for two nights and then the final round, ending in crowning a champion, takes place the third and final night.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of the audience for the first annual, of what will hopefully be many, One-Act Play Festival. You are a major asset to making this new addition to the theatre season successful. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see some more theatre?

Mark your calendars for Dec. 1, 2, and 3 at 7:00 pm, head to the Large Acting Lab in the UCA, and get ready to see some phenomenal one-acts for FREE.