‘One Act Roulette’ starts homecoming weekend, shows off student talent

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 9:16 AM
‘One Act Roulette’ starts homecoming weekend, shows off student talent by Amber Chisholm
Photo: Amber Chisholm

Audience members at Edinboro University’s Diebold Center for the Performing Arts enjoyed a comedic night through a series of one-act plays both before and during Homecoming weekend. 

Presented by The University Players, “One Act Roulette,” a show consisting of short plays randomly chosen by the audience, ran from Sept. 27-30, and will run Oct. 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Audience members chose from nine envelopes, each holding the name of a certain act that ran from 5-15 minutes, one-at-a-time until the show was finished. 

Three of the plays, “Knot Worth It,” “Gefilte Fish” and “What the Hell was That?” were written by students.

“What the Hell was That?” aroused plenty of laughter, and was a significant leap forward for Mason Kuhr, marking his first written and produced play. 

“I do consider myself more an actor than a writer,” said Kuhr. He was initially nervous, yet wasn’t stressed by the process, especially with directing, as he is confident in the abilities of the cast and crew. “We’re all very open communicators,” he added.

Kuhr’s play is based on his interests and skills in improvisation, which the cast and production staff had to utilize for each night, due to inevitable timing and attendance changes. This, though, is what he likes about theater.

“You’re never gonna get the same exact show twice,” said Kuhr.

Another difference was that 10 of the actors for this performance were new; some already experienced while others not at all.

“I’m really proud of our new cast,” said Torie Witherow, an actor, assistant director, and crew member.

Jared Hladycz, one of the new cast members and Edinboro’s 2018 Homecoming King, enjoyed the experience. “It’s becoming more natural,” he said, while also referring to the environment and processes. The hardest part for Hladycz is learning lines and “learning to be [my] character and not Jared.”

Although rehearsals ran on a tight schedule, the one-acts were enjoyed by those behind the scenes.

“It’s really just a simple, easy night,” said Elaina Krafick, president of The University Players, who wrote “Knot Worth It” and who is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, a national honor theatre fraternity.  

Owen Raygor, who had a role as “Brad” in “The Coors Lights,” said acting out a natural conversation between college-aged students was his favorite part. Raygor said that he also identifies with Brad in some of the character situations, as he is part of a group of men sharing relationship goals.

“Gefilte Fish,” named after a Jewish dish and written by Mikhail Ferree (based on personal experiences), features a man and his friend, a waiter, arguing over what he ordered during a date with another man. Ferree has positive feelings about it and wants the feelings from the audience to be genuine as well. “I hope they enjoy it,” he said.

Those in both the production and acting sides got to try something new, and whether one is directly involved, spots for shows and help are open. “We’re just glad to have the support of campus students,” said Witherow.

Amber Chisholm can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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