Laugh Riot presents: The 'Emerging Artists Festival'

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 10:52 PM
Laugh Riot presents: The 'Emerging Artists Festival' by Anna Ashcraft
One-acts presented include Jeffrey Neunann’s ‘InSEx,’ the story of an ill-fated praying mantis.

The Laugh/Riot Performing Arts Company is finishing their season off with a bang with the premiere of their first ever Emerging Artists Festival. Edinboro’s own students will be directing a night of one act plays. Laugh/Half will be joining the festival as well, putting on improv performances during the week.

The Emerging Artists Festival is taking the place of the previous New Works Festival.

“The reason why Rob [Connick] changed it from the New Works Festival to the Emerging Artists Festival is because in this next year he is planning on doing something different with Laugh/Riot. The Emerging Artists part is having up and coming playwrights merge with new directors, then also adding in the improvisational troupe,” Morgan Gore, student director of “Border Crossing,” said.

Gore is one of the six student directors to be putting on the one acts. There will be two weekends of six different one acts put on, each directed by a student from Professor Shaun Taylor’s “Directing 405” class. This semester is the first time the class has been offered.

“It’s the first time the Laugh/Half has been combined with Laugh/Riot shows. It’s nice that they were able to do that. I think they plan on doing it next year if they can,” Gore said.

Gore is directing Eddie Antar’s “Border Crossing.”

“It’s about a husband and wife who give a ride to one of the wife’s classmates from her art class. As they drive on, they find out that she’s a little bit too revealing about her personality, and they [end up] in an awkward situation. In a turn of events, it also gets them to question their own marriage and if they’re able to survive it,” Gore said.

Teagan Nash is directing Roy Proctor’s “Sunflower,” which follows the eccentric Oscar Wilde through an interview with a local newspaper reporter. Patrick McGettigan is directing Mark Cornell’s “One Life,” focusing on fate the concept of free choice. James Osinski is directing Matthew Henderson’s “A Long Walk on the Beach,” which follows a young womans desperate attempt to get an unwilling beachgoer to fall in love with her. Marge Winner is directing Jeffrey Neunann’s “InSEx,” which involves a praying mantis who discovers his mate intends to devour him with no remorse or after thought. A couple gripe about missing dinner guests and a man-eating chair in James Ferguson’s “The Chair,” directed by Brooke Ebeling.

“They [the one acts] were sent to us last year when Laugh/Riot did ‘Rollercoaster,’ which was when people in the audience would call out a number and whatever number they called out, we did that play. They had about 20 or 30 or some odd plays. It’s for works that haven’t been published and for emerging playwrights,” Gore said.

The cast of the one acts include Melanie Allan, April Connick, Jessica Connick, Rob Connick, Sydney Dobbs, Julia Kramer, Drew Lehman, Annabelle Martin, Rachel Nicely, Kelli Prizner, Eddie Reash, Fauna Robison, Montana Sertz, Sarah Wheeler and Randy Winner.

The one acts will be about 10 to 15 minutes each, and the show should be about an hour and a half long with an intermission, according to Gore.

The festival will take place at Diebold Center for the Performing Arts, 219 Meadville St., and will run April 21 through April 30 at 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday April 24, with no performance on May 1, due to the APO banquet.

The Laugh/Half will be performing improv shows Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 25-27 at 7:30 p.m. and to reserve tickets call (814) 323-1147 or email Tickets are $3 for EU students, $5 for students at other colleges, along with faculty and staff, and $10 for general admission.

Anna Ashcraft is the Managing Editor of Features for The Spectator.

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