Tight-knit cast highlight the ‘Battle of the One Acts’

Category:  The Arts
Friday, October 4th, 2019 at 11:22 AM
Tight-knit cast highlight the ‘Battle of the One Acts’ by Hazel Modlin
Abby Ricci, Kayla Weber and Park Zilhaver act in 'The BackPack.' | Contributed Photo

From talking meatballs to evil entities planning Armageddon, the “Battle of the One Acts” is a surprising and ingenious campus production that will have you on the edge of your seat for the full hour.

With an epic battle between seven different short plays, the Edinboro University Players have something for everyone. Plus, it’s perfect for anyone looking for inexpensive events to attend on campus.

The “Battle of the One Acts” is a competition where all of the plays throughout the night compete for the winning bragging rights. The audience is given a ticket at the beginning, and they use this to submit their favorite acts to be counted and announced at the end. “The Meatball Says No” won on Sept. 27.

The show is a total of seven acts: “The BackPack,” “*1 for Cthulhu,” “Aliens in Arizona,” “The Song Remains,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “The Meatball Says No” and “The Beggar and the King.” While each one brings in its own unique story, they all have one thing in common: an outstanding cast and crew. The crew works succinctly together — a well-oiled machine — as they change the set for each show (the props were also relatively well-done). Meanwhile, the cast is comfortable with the various scripts, putting everything they have on stage.

A brief summary of each act:

“The BackPack”A comedy centered around meeting your girlfriend’s parents and the worst possible result you could imagine. Filled with witty banter and endless puns.

“*1 for Cthulhu” When someone finds a random phone in the middle of the park, it usually doesn’t end up belonging to the terrible underwater entity himself: Cthulhu.

“Aliens in Arizona” The story of a couple in Arizona who attempts to teach their nephew that there are things he’ll miss if he doesn’t look up from his phone.

“The Song Remains” A relatable act about a song that gets stuck in someone’s head.

“The Man Who Wasn’t There” A more serious production about a man who was never there.

“The Meatball Says No” A humorous play centered around the reason a couple is forced to break up.

“The Beggar and the King” A comedy about a king with extremely sensitive ears, yet a surprisingly insensitive heart, and a beggar determined to survive against all odds.

Mason Kuhr, the president of the student-run Edinboro University Players, explained that the battle wasn’t created overnight; it took a lot of time and effort to execute such a smooth show.

“I’ve been working on organizing this since May. It’s been 5 months.”

He went through 16 different scripts before he narrowed it down to the seven that were performed.

The Edinboro University Players are the largest theater group on campus. They encourage students of all majors and academic levels to get involved.

“I was really amazed at the variety of majors and people’s backgrounds,” said Kuhr when remarking on his current group.

Lamont Jones Jr., a sophomore actor, said he first got involved last year as part of the crew.

“I remember they were looking for people to paint the set, and I had never done anything like that, but I thought, why not?”

This year, he auditioned and landed an on-stage role in two of the different acts.

The Edinboro University players also accept students with little-to-no theatrical experience. Both Michael Reidman, a senior, and Courtney Littell, a junior, are on stage for the first time in “Battle of the One Acts.”

“I was really nervous, but the moment I get on stage, it’s almost like a different personality takes over,” said Reidman.

Among the acts performed as part of the battle, two of them were written by students. Mikhail T. Ferree and Margeaux Dase, respectively, wrote “The BackPack” and “Aliens in Arizona.” Ferree actually went on to direct his, while Dase was an assistant director for hers. Both acts held up well to the other plays, providing the production with even more authenticity.

For those looking to attend the “Battle of the One Acts,” it’s being performed Oct. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. and on Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Each performance is in the Diebold Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for students are $3, while faculty, staff and seniors are charged $5. General admission tickets are $10.

Additional Photos:

Sam Comfort, Courtney Littell and Jenny Bechtold in 'Beggar and the King.' | Contributed PhotoAbby Ricci, Kayla Weber and Park Zilhaver act in 'The BackPack.' | Contributed Photo

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