One-act plays fill up weeknights

Stephanie Belt, alumna, comes back to work in the plays.

Stephanie Belt, alumna, comes back to work in the plays.

Four theatre students will show their directing talents next week.

Missouri Southern’s theatre’s newest production is An Evening of One Acts, opening Monday.

“These are students-directed productions,” said Dr. Jay Fields, chairman of the theatre department. “Essentially what these are are the final exams in a directing class.”

Fields said the directors always do well, “because the entire project falls to them.”

“I fade out as much as I possibly can,” he said. “I want everything to fall onto them so if they succeed, they succeeded. If they fail, they have failed. Because, as a director, everything comes down to what they decide to do.”

Four plays will be performed, but only two per night.

Audiences on Monday, Wednesday and April 15 will see Sorry, Wrong Number and For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls. Tuesday, Thursday and April 16 audiences will see Trifles and California Suite: Visitors from Chicago.

Sorry, Wrong Number was written by Lucille Fletcher as a 22-minute radio drama, first performed with Agnes Moorehead.

Senior theatre and CADD major Aaron Stockton is directing this one-act play. He said the play I a 30-minute thriller full of twists.

“Mrs. Stevenson, she’s an invalid,” Stockton said. “She’s home one night by herself and overhears a murder plot over a crossed telephone wire. She spends the rest of the play trying to get someone to halt this murder before it takes place.”

Stockton said his experience directing has been great.

“It’s been well worth it I’ve learned a lot just about the creative process,” he said.

For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls is a parody of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie written by Christopher Durang.

Bryan Whyte, senior secondary education major, directs this play and said it is a retelling of the family relationship in The Glass Menagerie.

“It’s just kind of updating it a little bit and making it funny to appeal to a whole new audience who may not fully appreciate The Glass Menagerie,” Whyte said.

He said he chose to do this play because when he read it, he could not stop laughing.

“It’s just one of those that you pick it up and read it and there’s so many funny things that happen,” Whyte said. “You can take those and be like, ‘Well this is kind of how it is in my house.'”

Whyte said his directing experience has been fun.

“Luckily, I’ve had great people to work with,” he said.

Trifles by Susan Glaspell is about a woman who was subjected to abuse by her husband.

“It takes place the morning after his murder,” said Melissa Rutledge, senior theatre major and director of Trifles, “The sheriff and county attorney come in and try to find the clues and evidence to convict her for it.”

Rutledge said she chose to do the play because it had a good message.

“It’s an old classical play that is timeless,” she said. “I really liked it.”

Ben Horine, sophomore theatre major, directs Califorinia Suite: Visitors from Chicago.

Horine said play is a farcical play.

“There’s not really any plot to it,” he said. “It’s farce, nothing really gets accomplished.”

Visitors from Chicago is about two married couples that have been on a three-week vacation together.

“The scene you see is right after a tennis match and things get out of hand,” Horine said.

“The couples get upset at each playing against each other. What you see in the scene is them coming back into the hotel room and conversing and going on and on about how bad the trip was.”

He said chose to do the play because he has directed a drama before and wanted the full feel of theater.

“It’s been great learning experience,” Horine said. “It’s been very tough directing four people in a scene is not as easy as it looks. The hardest part is getting actors to lose themselves in the character. The actors that I have are very talented they make my job so much easier.”

Productions open 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Bud Walton Theatre.

For more information, contact the Southern Theatre box office at 625-9393.