Milligan Festival of One Act Plays to feature Elvis, Trotsky and more

Published 8:12 am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Eight plays.
Eight student directors.
One act. Each, that is.
Milligan College’s Festival of One Act Plays will take the stage for the 27th time April 29 through May 1, with presentations that include a young Elvis being guided by Biblical characters, a missing friend, a future where comedy is illegal and a very persistent – and deadly – ax.
This year’s festival begins at 6 p.m. each evening in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre in Milligan’s Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts. Performances are free and open to the public.
The curtain first went up on the Festival of One Act Plays in 1987, when Richard Major, professor of theater at Milligan, sought to energize the theater program and provide hands-on theater experience for his students.
This year’s one-act plays feature:
Tuesday, April 29
• “Whatever Souls Are Made Of,” written and directed by Ren Reed, a senior from Atlanta and stage managed by Kaylynn Blosser, a freshman from Seattle, Wash. This snarky melodrama follows five friends who share an apartment and panic when one of them goes missing.
• “Help,” directed by Adam Derrick, a junior from Boone, N.C., and stage managed by Collin Hawley, a freshman from Woodbridge, Va. In this short play by Neena Beber, a young girl is excited about volunteering at a soup kitchen for the first time. The experience isn’t anything like she was expecting, however, especially the other volunteer, Beverly, who seems to take offense at her enthusiasm.
Wednesday, April 30
• “Elvis of Nazareth,” directed by Tori Giblin, a sophomore from Indianapolis and stage managed by Sarah Beth Hill, a sophomore from Atlanta.
In Jay Huling’s absurd comedy, a young Elvis is about to be discovered but is unsure of his life’s purpose.
• “Last-Minute Adjustments,” directed by Tess Evans-Shell, a junior from Roanoke, Va., and stage managed by Will Major, a senior from Johnson City.
This touching comedy by Richard Orloff is about tweaking the final adjustments that a baby needs in order to live a complete and fulfilling life – including the necessity for a soul.
• “Working Class,” directed by Danielle Moore, a senior from Unicoi, and stage managed by Beattie Renn, senior from Buckeystown, Md.
In this one act by Richard Hoehler, two immigrants must learn English in order to become American citizens, but their teacher will discover that the English language is harder to teach than he thought in this “grammatic” comedy.
Thursday, May 1
• “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance,” directed by Andrew Wissmann, a sophomore from Manila, Philippines, and stage managed by Erica Peak-Nordstrom, junior from Rochester, Ill.
A former couple, Gail and Eric hash things out after Gail marries and has a baby in this one act play by Jason Katims.
• “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” directed by Darcie DeLong, a junior from Indianapolis, and stage managed by Mandy Chambers, a junior from Knoxville.
An absurdly funny comedy by David Ives, in which the death of communist writer Leon Trotsky is repeated and revised eight times.
• “Accused of Comedy,” directed by Christopher Heldman, a junior from Indianapolis and stage managed by Stephen Joiner, a senior from Mountain City.
This 10-minute play, written by Carl Williams, follows two comedians in the future where comedy is illegal.
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