Short Acts, Big Laughs

by Jody Godoy '05

The 2002 performance of An Evening of One Acts, performed from November 21-23, created three nights that were all laughter. The five short comedies ranged from 10 minutes to a half-an-hour, and included an act by the Drama Ministry team and a French absurdist piece.

APU Drama presents One Acts each year. According to Director Brian Mercer, it’s a good way for more people to get significant roles. This year, students in the Advanced Acting class put the production together, and all but 2 of the 21 cast members have been involved in other drama productions this semester.

An Evening of One Acts is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to direct. Four of the plays were directed by students. "Sure Thing" was the first main stage play Stephanie Clark ‘03 has directed. "I enjoy directing as much as I do acting," Clark said. "It’s a different kind of art, but in a way, you get to act through the people you direct."

Some from APU Drama even got involved in writing one acts. "Dog Eat Dog Disaster" was written by Janell Zimmerman ’04, and Brian Mercer wrote "Remember What?"

According to Mercer, one of the difficulties involved in producing these brief plays is that performing multiple one acts in a single evening requires "completely different set needs" for each. The challenge facing the writer of a one act is to develop characters, create a climax, and bring the scene to a resolution in 20 minutes. And for the actors, it can be difficult to connect to the characters, as they tend to be on the quirky side. For the audience, however, An Evening of One Acts was a simply "a lot of fun."

For a schedule of upcoming productions, please visit APU drama's website.