Shippensburg University’s Act V Theatre Co. held its first One Act Festival in the Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 28, March 1 and March 2.
Four student-written, directed and acted plays were brought to the stage. Act V presented “On The Block,” “Interview of a Lifetime,” “Surviving a Day in the Library” and “Trivial High School Problems” during the festival, which ran all four shows during each of the performance days.
Act V presented “On The Block,” written by SU senior Andrew Houpt and directed by senior Kelsey Kohler, which is about how random people turn out to be unfinished characters in a struggling writer’s story.
Next, the group put on “Interview of a Lifetime,” written by sophomore Emily Sterner and directed by junior Michael Bradley. The show is a story about a gay woman who interviews for a spot in heaven.
The next play, “Surviving a Day in the Library,” written by senior Casey Leming and directed by sophomore Kaitlyn Niski, is about a librarian’s stressful day at work.
The last play of the evening was titled “Trivial High School Problems,” written by Niski and directed by Houpt, a tale about a girl skipping school and neglecting to study for a test with her friend.
In addition to directing a play, Bradley coordinated all of the directors for the festival.
Bradley said the auditions were the last week of January. This gave Act V a limited amount of practice leading up to the festival.
“It was stressful, especially for myself and the directors, because we had three weeks before tech week to get this all together,” Bradley said. “That’s not the easiest thing to do, but the directors all worked very well, and the actors worked very well.”
In previous years, Act V chose one act plays written by known playwrights to perform. This year, students were given the chance to submit their own work and see their plays come to life.
“This year we decided to do it differently, give the opportunity to have students write [the plays],” Bradley said. “It was a hard decision to decide which four shows we were going with.”
Each director made their directorial debuts at the festival. A few actors made their debuts as well.
Sophomore Noah Buckley was one of the actors. He performed in “On the Block,” “Interview of a Lifetime” and “Surviving a Day in the Library.”
Buckley, a political science major, put extra work in to make sure he knew all of his lines and was ready for the event.
“Other than practices twice a week for each show, it was just mostly by yourself going over lines,” Buckley said.
Many emotions coursed through Buckley leading up to the show, however, it all worked itself out come showtime.
“I was stressed, excited, nervous — basically everything is coming at you at once,” Buckley said. “But then actually on show night, it was not like I expected. It was so smooth and relaxed.”
The One Act Festival was about getting students involved and giving them an outlet to showcase their creativity. The event also gave students the chance to watch their peers perform and see what they are capable of.
“I say, ‘come out to support your fellow students,’ because all the shows were written by students, performed by students and directed by students,” Bradley said. “Come out and see what the theater side of the campus is doing.”
Act V’s next event will be a production of “Mamma Mia!” It will open on April 11 at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium.