For three Fairmont State University theatre majors, weeks of research and rehearsal will culminate in the two evenings of performance and their directorial debut. Also at stake is an opportunity to direct on the main stage of Wallman Hall in the spring.
The FSU School of Fine Arts and Masquers proudly present "An Evening of Three One-Acts" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16, in the Wallman Hall Studio Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public.
Loralee Simpson directs Joe Orton's black comedy "The Ruffian on the Stair"; Sean Marko directs William Saroyan's poignant Depression-era play "Hello Out There"; and Sasha Bohon directs Christopher Durang's farce "The Actor's Nightmare."
Orton's "The Ruffian on the Stair" involves a couple living together in 1964 London (Joyce, played by Samantha Huffman, and Mike, played by Jay Lindsay). Joyce is a former prostitute, and Mike is a hit man for hire. One day, while he's "at work," a young stranger shows up and begins accosting Joyce (Wilson, played by Anthony Host). Frightened, she asks Mike to step in the next time Wilson shows up, but the two hit it off famously. Wilson has come to avenge his brother's murder, and in the process, terrorizes Joyce and manipulates Mike by twisting his perception of reality. Just when you think Wilson has finished, the situation spirals to an unexpected conclusion.
In Saroyan's "Hello Out There," a young drifter (played by Jeremiah Ripley) finds himself accused of rape in a small Texas town in 1941. After confiding and scheming with the girl who works at the jail (played by Morgan Davis), he has a small window of opportunity to escape before a lynch-mob shows up to exact "justice." Other cast members include Joseph Vega, Celi Oliveto, Matt Snyder and Sean Marko.
Durang's "The Actor's Nightmare" is a farce about George Spelvin (played by Bruce McGlumphy), a man who is having an extremely vivid nightmare about the stage. He's thrown into the middle of Noel Coward's comedy "Private Lives" without knowing his lines or even what character he's supposed to be. In quick succession, "Private Lives" transforms into "Hamlet," a Samuel Beckett play, and "A Man for All Seasons." The other actors and stage manager let George stumble though until their grand finale which George will never forget or walk away from. Other cast members include Susie Hall, Sami Dull, Rennes Carbaugh and Lillian Gaylord.
Members of the FSU Theatre Department faculty have been working on a major curriculum revision that provides directing opportunities for junior and senior theatre majors. These opportunities give invaluable experience for future high school theatre teachers and will make students who are looking toward a graduate theatre degree more competitive. The Evening of One-Acts is intended to become a regular slot in the co-curricular Masquers production season.
Simpson, Marko and Bohon were invited to participate in a screening process that required them to submit detailed proposals for two one-act plays. The process is similar to that used to hire professional theatre directors. The faculty reviewed the proposals and assigned each director a play based upon the breadth of the director's research and script analysis, and on the clarity with which she or he expressed a directorial vision for the play.
When the two-night run is over, the faculty will meet with each of the directors to respond to their work. The faculty will then choose one of the three students to direct the FSU Town & Gown Youth Company January 2011 production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."