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Ouachita to present One Act Play Festival April 29-30

Verser TheatreApril 29, 2021 - Meagan Woodard

Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Theatre Arts will present its biannual, student directed One Act Play Festival on Thursday, April 29, and Friday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Verser Theatre. Due to health guidelines, limited seating is available only to Ouachita students, faculty and staff; Friday’s show will be available for the public to attend and watch via simulcast in Jones Performing Arts Center. Tickets are free and available at www.obu.edu/boxoffice.

The One Act Play Festival features a variety of short plays produced by seniors for their end-of-semester project in Ouachita’s directing class; the performances highlight what the students have learned in the course and in their years at Ouachita. Students will perform the full slate of plays on both Thursday, April 29, and Friday, April 30.

“The seniors this semester have consistently been making strong directing choices,” said Matthew Murry, visiting assistant professor of theatre arts at Ouachita and instructor for the directing course. “I hope that they learned the importance of research and preparation in the role of the director.  I also hope that they take away the ability to stage scenes and plays in a clear and concise manner.”

Hannah Adair, a senior musical theatre major from Alexander, Ark., is directing “The Great Gaffe” by Jennifer O'Grady; Hannah Anderson, a senior musical theatre major from Austin, Texas, is directing “She Has Seen the Wolf” by Allie Costa; Carlin Campbell, a senior musical theatre major from Rose Hill, Kan., is directing “Bad Bert and Sheriff Sally” by Adam Szymkowicz; Molly Kennedy, a senior musical theatre major from Melissa, Texas, is directing “Canker Sores and Other Distractions” by Christopher Durang; and Madeline Martin, a senior musical theatre and communications & media/strategic communications double major from Sheridan, Ark., is directing “Joy Ride” by Christine Foster.

“The Great Gaffe,” directed by Adair, will feature performances by Danielle Hall, a senior musical theatre major from Prairie Grove, Ark.; Eli Butler, a freshman musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark.; and Dani Frick, a junior theatre arts major from Benton, Ark. Kinsey Potts, a junior musical theatre major from Wylie, Texas, serves as stage manager.

“Being able to pick which one act I wanted to direct was exciting,” said Adair. “Pulitzer Prize-winning Edith Wharton sits down to have tea with the author of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ Scott Fitzgerald, and their mutual friend, Teddy. Edith cuts tea time short when Scott takes things a bit too far.”

“She Has Seen the Wolf,” directed by Anderson, will feature performances by Hayley Johnson, a sophomore theatre arts major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Aaron Whitten, a junior mathematics and Christian studies double major from McKinney, Texas; and Nicolas Hazlett, a junior engineering physics major from Greenville, Texas.

“She Has Seen the Wolf” explores the culture of catcalling and casual sexual assault through a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood,” said Anderson. “While walking through the woods to her grandmother's birthday party, Scarlett is accosted by a man named Jasper. Though she's able to get to a police station, she's met with hostility and disbelief by the officer she seeks help from.”

“Canker Sores and Other Distractions,” directed by Kennedy, tells the story of Martin and Prunella, a divorced couple who meet for the first time in 10 years to discuss getting remarried.

“As the second show I have directed, the process is definitely getting easier. My cast is wonderful, so hard working and perfect for these roles,” said Kennedy.

“Joy Ride,” directed by Martin, will feature performances by Bella Owen, a junior musical theatre major from Jonesboro, Ark., and Elizabeth Dawson, a senior musical theatre major from Little Rock, Ark. Sarah Franklin, a sophomore musical theatre major from Grand Cane, La., serves as stage manager.

“Set on an airplane, an estranged daughter brings her father’s ashes home for a dignified send-off only to find that her free-spirited mother has loftier plans,” said Martin. “It has been a challenge, as it’s way outside of my comfort zone [to direct]. I’m lucky to have great actors and an amazing stage manager that make the process easier and a lot of fun!”

“Bad Bert and Sheriff Sally,” directed by Campbell, will feature performances by Sam Campione, a senior musical theatre major from Waxahachie, Texas, and Emma Smith, a freshman biblical languages major from North Little Rock, Ark.

“In ‘Bad Bert and Sheriff Sally,’ the wild west isn’t big enough for two ex-lovers who cross paths,” said Campbell.

Tickets are free and available at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. For more information, contact the Ouachita Box Office at (870) 245-5555 weekdays from 1-5 p.m.

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