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First Annual Spring One-Act Play Fest

The Department of Theatre will begin a new tradition this spring: its first annual fully produced Festival of One-Act Plays. This year’s festival will run Thursday through Saturday, April 17-19, and Wednesday through Saturday, April 23-26, at 8 p.m. each night in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center.

“This festival will give more of our extremely talented students the opportunity to direct a play as well have their scripts produced on the stage,” said Kiki Gounaridou, associate professor of theatre and chair of the department

The festival will feature three plays by students. The plays address social and personal themes through vividly drawn characters and situations.

Winter Requiem by Rachel Lerner-Ley ’08, directed by Erica Cormier ’08, follows the employees of a small New England inn as they prepare to celebrate its 25th anniversary season and face yet another winter without snow. By the end of the play, the world of the inn will be changed and perhaps even gone forever. The play explores the increasingly detrimental impact of global warming, loss, change, and tradition. Lerner-Ley is a theatre major (Spanish minor) from Newton, Mass. Her plays have received many awards and recognitions, including finalist and semi-finalist in The National Young Playwrights Competition. Winter Requiem received the 2007 Denis Johnston Playwriting Award and was read at Smith as part of the 2007 New Playreading Series

Ephemera, a play by Darren Harned (Hampshire College ’07), directed by Lisa Wall AC, communicates a sense of fading Americana and the glorious but ephemeral nature of a life as it focuses on Meryl, a 70-year-old-woman moving out of her home after her husband, Clay, dies. As two movers empty out the contents of her house, she stumbles upon a ghostly memory of her husband that has been packed away in boxes for years. Ephemera was accepted into the 32nd annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival and was performed in New York City in June 2007. The play also took second prize in last spring’s Five College Denis Johnston Prize competition.

Isosceles, by Lynne S. Brandon GR, directed by Emily Hiltzik ’09, offers a fantastical triangle of butch, femme, and macho contending for the apex of power in a famous Parisian salon. Gert, Alice, and Pablo maneuver language, cubist art, and writing as each vies to be at the top. Brandon is an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Smith. Her monologue Bare Chested was selected for the Short Attention Span PLAYFEST presented by Atlantis Playmakers in Lowell, Mass., in July 2006, and the short play She Doth Protest for the NoHo Playwrights Lab reading in November 2006.

Festival tickets ($8 general public, $5 students/seniors) are available by calling 413-585-ARTS or by stopping by the Mendenhall box office Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. and beginning at 7 p.m. on performance nights.


4/14/08   Department of Theatre press release
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