UMF Student Directs Her Own Play

UMF Student Directs Her Own Play

Kristen Sarasin, a member of the Performative Writing class, has a monologue and one-act in the Festival of New Works.

By Nicole Pilote Contributing Writer

Students in the Performative Writing for the Stage class have written and created plays that will be performed at the Festival of New Works near the end of April. The festival will feature ten minute monologues and one-act plays.

   All of the plays are written and performed by UMF students. Each student has spent many hours writing and editing scripts of their plays, and they will direct their works on stage.

   Kristen Sarasin, a Junior double majoring in English and Creative Writing and minoring in Women’s Studies, has a one-act play and a monologue that will both be performed during the festival.

   “The Festival of New Works has allowed us to dig deeper into our scripts and constantly revise the piece as a whole,” Sarasin said. “The process is difficult but rewarding; it results in more polished work.”

   Students Astra Pierson and Ian Grima, who auditioned in early March for the roles, will be performing the lead roles in Sarasin’s one act. Her play depicts the last moments of a marriage between a couple in the time of their divorce.

   “I picked Astra and Ian as characters for this play because they both brought individual differences towards the role of each character,” Sarasin said. “Astra had strength and Ian had the softness that was easily relatable to the characters.”

   The course, Performative Writing for the Stage, is a general education class that combines elements of playwriting and staging a show. It allows students to have a closer look into playwriting through writing scripts and developing characters, as well as learning the technical aspects of theatre such as lighting and sound. Jayne Decker, UMF’s theater professor, teaches the class. Students in the class met with Decker individually during workshops to perfect their work.

   “I enjoyed writing the script for my one act because it allows room the explore the relationship between two people, to be able to show the honesty in people’s lives,” Sarasin said.

   The Festival of New Works will be held on Thursday the 19th and Friday the 20th.


UMF Hosts Upcoming One Acts Festival In April

By Shana Tilley, Contributing Writer 

UMF will be presenting the One Acts Festival on April 21-23. There will be four performances each night by UMF students that are part of the Advanced Directing Course, led by Professor Jayne Decker. The festival acts as a final project for the course, unlike last year’s performances which were led by APO.

Steffon Gales, Jonas Maines, Konner Wilson, and Zack Peercy are the four students who will be presenting their One Act directorial. According to sophomore Steffon Gales, “this is a more structured festival than last year’s One Acts that were run by APO, the theater fraternity, because this year’s festival is for the Advanced Directing Course, so it will be different.”

Out of the three acts one of them is a student written piece, while the other three are published works. Gales explains, “I am doing ‘Impromptu’ by Tad Mosel. Zack Peercy is doing ‘Greetings From the Moon.’ The next one is ‘Boundary’ by Tom Stoppard and Clive Exton, which Konner is doing. Finally, the last one is ‘Home Free!’ by Lanford Wilson, which Jonas is doing.”

The One Act Festival will be held in Alumni Theater and prices are still to be announced. Senior Zack Peercy explains though that tickets will be, “low and affordable.”

Gales believes people should go for the experience. “It’s going to be a great display of UMF’s performance talents and the plays explore the different genres of theater,” he says.

Recent auditions were well attended and a fair number of UMF’s students came to participate and show their acting skills. Each director got to pick who they wanted for their piece, but it wasn’t easy to choose. Gales assures, “we had a great number of talented actors and they made it difficult to cast our shows.”

Peercy thinks everyone who can should go and experience the One Act festival. “Theater, not just being involved, but also attending, is the most important thing you can do with your free time. It’s an opportunity to sit in a room full of strangers and collectively feel something. We need a lot more of that.”

Gales is looking forward to working with the actors that he chose for his piece and getting to bring the piece to life. “I enjoy getting to know them and figuring out how to make the playwright’s piece of fiction a reality,” Gales says.

Senior Konner Wilson will also be directing a One Act performance for the festival. She’s looking forward to having people witness the different types of plays that will be performed.

“The great thing about something like this is that it’s a ‘One Act Festival.’ It’s not just about the performance of our shows individually, but the mixture of comedy, drama, and a touch of absurdity that brings about a completely different type of theater experience.”

The One Act Festival will start April 21st and go until the 23rd. The performances will be held in the Alumni Theater and everyone who is interested in attending is welcome. Prices will be announced prior to the festival.