May 8, 2013
The One Act Play Festival at Orange Coast College gives students the opportunity to manage their own productions.
Six short plays will be performed in OCC's Drama Lab Theatre May 16 through 19 at 7:30 p.m. and also at 2:30 p.m. on the weekends. Plays range from published works to homegrown specials.
The schedule is broken up into two parts, the first part being published plays and the second being student originals. Although the festival's acts can change last minute, the current lineup for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinee is "Chained," directed by George Rios, "Jolly Jack Junior," directed by David Christmas, and "The Wedding Story," directed by Sara Dawood. For Friday, Saturday matinee and Sunday the lineup is "Rough for Theatre I," directed by Stephen Quinn, "#95," directed by Lauren Buangan, and "Green," directed by Randa Pardillo.
One student director said he's new to this but that he has a game plan.
"This is my first time directing something bigger than a class project, so I'm just trying to take what I've learned from the book and in class, and implement that into my directing here," David Christmas, a 21-year-old theatre arts major and student director of "Jolly Jack Junior" said.
While back stage crews create the set, cast members perform diverse rolls, some more challenging then others.
"In one play, I am a blind man, in another I'm a pickup artist at a bar, in the third I play a theater student," Ruben Gonzales, a 20-year-old theatre arts major and actor in three one act plays said. "My biggest challenge has been trying to do stuff blind, so I've been going around trying to do stuff with my eyes closed."
Another student said that changing personalities is a bit weird.
"Opening myself up to three different performances is hard because I have a completely different personality for each," Kelsey Arnold, a 20-year-old theatre arts major and actress in three one act plays said.
Being able to be multiple characters from multiple plays in the same festival helps students grow their acting skills.
"Getting into new characters every time is fun because each time you play a role, at least to me, you grow as an actor, so if you can get yourself into that character, the next character is just going to be stronger," Arnold said.
While actors are perfecting their parts, one director is trying to make things a little more ordinary for her cast.
"I'm directing a play that is basically about the green room, how you can't get out once you enter and literally get stuck in there," Randa Luna Pardillo, a 19-year-old theatre arts and English major and director of "Green" said.
The One Act Play Festival tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.