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Students Direct Eclectic One-Act Plays

By Savannah Cooper
On October 8, 2018

The 10-minute plays ranged from comedy to drama to farce.
Photo Courtesy of Caleb Zopp

On Oct. 2 and 3, Concord University’s Theatre Department hosted 10-minute one-act plays.

Each play was directed by a student from Karen Vuranch’s Fundamentals of Directing class. These directors included Elisha Fraley, Laya Gilpin, Cameron White, Brianna Duckworth, Hannah Gates, Caleb Zopp, Tiffany Dillon and Chris Cohenour.

The directors chose their own play, adapted it for Concord’s theatre and watched it all play out in front of an audience. The genres of the plays ranged from comedy, to drama, to farce.

The first play, “While the Auto Waits,” was written by Walter Wykes and directed by Elisha Fraley. This play revolved around a man and a woman pretending to be people they are not. While participating in flirtatious dialogue, the two present themselves as people from different worlds and socioeconomic backgrounds. By the end of the play, the audience was left wondering who the people really were and why they chose to lie about their identities.

The next performance was “First Fireworks,” written by Alex Brown and directed by Laya Gilpin. This heart-wrenching scene portrays the last conversation between a sick mother and her pregnant daughter. While watching fireworks in their favorite spot, the two bonded one last time and discussed their emotional journeys. Tears could be seen throughout the audience as the lights went down in the theatre.

Thirdly, “This Was Our Music,” written by Mike Rothschild and directed by Cameron White, took the stage. This scene shifted the mood in the theatre by bringing comedy to the forefront. In this play, a jazz DJ is told how he needs to start doing his job by a new programming manager. This leads to an argument and an on-air declaration by the DJ that “Nobody who got anywhere didn’t get there by playing along.”

“Murder by Midnight,” written by Nick Zagone and directed by Brianna Duckworth, continued the comedy genre. By following along with Dick Piston, a hotel detective, the audience witnessed sexual innuendo’s, ironic deaths and a twist ending. By having interactive dialogues, Dick Piston (played by Cameron White) made the audience feel included in the story.

The fifth play was “Grey Matter,” written by Jeanette Farr-Hawkins and directed by Hannah Gates. This didactic storyline left the audience with a scene to think about. Two women question each other’s credibility by only seeing outward appearances. By going back and forth, the women engage in a conversation that teaches them to get to know someone before defining their personality and morals.

The next play, directed by Caleb Zopp and written by Nick Zagone, captured the audience by frustrating them with a series of questions. “I Can’t Think of It Right Now” involved a couple spending the night trying to remember the name of the movie “Braveheart.” The audience goes through agony by wanting to shout out the name of the movie. By the end of the play, the two characters forget everything, even their son’s name. Once the title comes to their mind, they, along with the audience, shout it out with relief.

The seventh play presented was “Post-Its: Notes on a Marriage,” directed by Tiffany Dillon and written by Paul Dooley.” This comedic yet touching story followed the lives of a married couple who had conversations through post-it notes. Through the early stages of dating, to having a child, to hitting a rough spot in the marriage and finally rekindling their love, the couple gave the audience a glimpse into a normal life in just 10 minutes.

“The Man Who Couldn’t Dance,” written by Jason Katims and directed by Chris Cohenour, ended out the night. This story took the audience back to where a failed relationship

went wrong. The intense scene was made up of a man and woman confessing their flaws and wondering what could have been.

Cohenour believes that all the plays were a huge success. He says, “Personally, I am extremely happy with how they turned out. I hope, if nothing else, people walked away with more to think about than what they came in with.”

He continues, “While there were comedies that allowed for people to relax, it offered a lot for people to think about; anywhere from relationships with one’s parents, to issues present in today’s socioeconomic climate. It leaves so much for one to think about.”

Along with these plays, the Concord Theatre Department plans on putting on other plays this semester, including “The Crucible.”

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