Pittsburg State University’s Stage Direction class will put on a series of 30-minute student directed plays called “Theatre Unplugged: Caught in the One-Act” on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of Grubbs Hall.
The plays being performed on Friday are “Mikey Wears Braces” by Jennifer Reichert, “Why Do We Laugh?” by Stephen Gregg, “The Rats” by Agatha Christie, and “Party Girl” by Kitt Lacoie. The plays being performed on Saturday are “Amateurs” by David Auburn, “Mind Games” by Paul Elliott, “Early Morning” by Eric Lane, and “Heights” by Amy Fox.
“In our program degree emphasis area, which is theatre, we have to take a directing course and as part of the directing course, we have to put on a one-act play between 25 and 30 minutes… Involving casting, doing all of the props, all of the blocking, all of the costumes, all of the stage set, just basically we do everything and then we have like technical people, but it’s our responsibility to pick the show, cast the show, put in for like the royalties and stuff, and go about figuring out how to bring it to the stage,” Katia Arians, senior in French, psychology, and communication said.
There are eight people in the class, which is a large turnout according to Arians. In the past, they showed the same plays twice, once on each day, because there were fewer people in the class and the plays were shorter. This year, the students are taking it up a notch.
“It was hard… We’re all very involved in a bunch of different things and we’re all very busy and so it’s a little hard to find the time to get together and to sit down and get all this stuff done, but once I was able to start, like after we cast and once we were able to start moving forward, it just started clicking a little bit…”
Arians also said attendees should expect an expanded view on plays, including dramatic plot twists.
“There’s a lot of different one-acts, none of them are similar,” Abby Normand, junior in nursing, said. “Some of them are comedic, some are like very dramatic… I think people should expect to see diversity.”
The one-acts not only allow students to gain directing experience behind the scenes, but also acting experience on the stage.
“These students have worked really, really hard, especially the directors and it’s not like a last minute, thrown together, like they’ve been working on it for a really long time and everybody’s taken the one-acts so professionally and so seriously.” Normand said.