For the sixth year now, DeBaun Center for Performing Arts has put on their annual One Act Festival. The festival is run in the DeBaun Auditorium and is directed by Stevens students and alumni. This year’s show was on September 12 and 13 with one show each night at 8:00 p.m.. A show as early as this requires early auditions for all of those wishing to get involved. This allows for the acts to be up and over before most of the busy schedules that arrive in the semester. This is also a great opportunity to those new students looking to get their foot in the door as actors in Stevens.
The show consists of three different pieces as one act each. The first is titled Playwitting 101: The Rooftop Lesson by Rich Orloff. This portion was directed by Devon Kelly and took a a quirky view of learning how to write a good play. It features an instructor who is in control of a scene of live actors by remote. Each time he will give an example of what is good play writing versus bad play writing and the actors play out the scene. The actors then grow a sense of reality from the scene and take control of their own lives turning the remote on the lecturer.
The second show was Bad Auditions by Bad Actors by Ian McWethy. This one was directed by alumni and long time Off Center member Christopher Diggins. This story circled around the audition room for an upcoming production of Romio and Juliet. The director is trying frantically to make things organized and run smoothly while her assistant shows his incompetence and lack of interest in anything but her own personal life. As actors trickle in one after another, each is more ridiculous than the last. From crazy method actors to spoiled divas and a man just pretending to be a cat, the auditions seem like there could not possibly be anyone who could just read their lines and take direction. Even when people seem to be normal, they turn out to have odd acting warm ups or generally weird habits. When the director realizes her assistant and his girlfriend are the most “normal” people to have stood on the stage she tries to get them to read lines. What starts as a good read through ends with the assistant proving himself still incompetent.
The last show is called Oh My God, It’s Another Play by Rich Orloff. The scene starts off with a director with a group of actors trying to inspire them and offer wisdom when he clearly is not sure what he is saying. The whole scene is a behind the scenes look at a typical rehearsal where the director is full of himself, the cats are falling in love, and the stage manager is not putting up with any of it. This was a debut for some new actors who experienced their first performance on DeBaun stage. The director, Trevor Batchelder, says, “It’s really cool how that works out. The DeBaun One Act Festival is always a great opportunity for past, current, and brand new members of the Stevens theater community to come together so early in the academic year.” The festival is really a great way for the theater community to get ready for their upcoming season of shows and events. It is a great showcase for what veteran actors can piece together and how new students handle being on stage for the first time.