The Daily Evergreen

One act, four plays

BY CATHERINE KRUSE | Evergreen theater reporter

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Driven by students and ranging from family comedy to soul-searching, STAGE One returns to bring four new one-act plays in this year’s festival.

STAGE One, run through STAGE Student Theater, is a festival of one- act plays that are written, directed, and acted by students with advising from professors in Daggy Hall.

“We had a musical last year. (There’s been) dramas, comedies, romantic comedies, dark humor…a little bit of everything,” said senior vocal performance major Sarah Tisinger, director of one act “What We Leave Behind.”

Each play lasts about 30 minutes, varying in style and genre with small transitional breaks between each show. The lineup for this year’s festival includes a serious show, a romantic comedy, a family-based comedy, and a full-on drama.

Tisinger, who has experience as both an actor and director for STAGE One, said from a director’s standpoint it’s a good experience, because there’s not much rehearsal time needed due to the length of the plays.

It becomes a teaching moment as the students work together and get feedback from clinical assistant professors Ben Gonzales and Mary Trotter on how to improve.

“It’s just a great place to make friends, and (it’s) how I found my spot at WSU,” Tisinger said.

“What We Leave Behind,” written by religious studies senior Bryce Park, deals with themes of grief and acceptance. Senior communication major Natassja Haynes plays Opal, a character who has gone through some life crises such as a friend passing away and her sister ending up in the hospital.

While there are two other characters in the show, Haynes said one of them may or may not be real; it could just be a figment of Opal’s imagination that she uses as a coping mechanism.

“It’s one of those things where it’s debatable for an audience in terms of real issues,” she said.

On a more positive note, there’s the family comedy “In the Oven” by senior English major Jon Rice. Freshman undecided major Rebecca Baldinelli, who plays the mother, said the show includes familial relationships and reconciliation between father and son.

“(She’s) a typical mother-in-law,” she said. “(She and her husband) are constantly sniping at each other sitcom style.”

At the same time, Baldinelli’s character understands her son’s predicament with his wife wanting children but him not being ready to begin a family. She reminds him that life doesn’t always give someone a right time to do things – sometimes life just throws things at you.

The actors try to use as few props as possible, making it easier to switch the scenes between different shows. However, this in no way restricts the amount of movement the actors can do on the stage.

“Acting, if anything, is more about not the things on the stage but the people,” Haynes said. “That’s where you justify your movements.”

For freshman communication Gadisa Margarsa, who plays the father in “In the Oven,” this is his first time doing theater. Through this experience he said he has learned that acting is more than just memorization and performing. Now he has to remember the gestures he makes and how to keep the audience engaged.

“I give actors more respect now,” Margarsa said. “I thought anyone could do it but it’s a lot harder than it looks.”

For Baldinelli, acting is more of a learning experience than a natural talent. She said she discovered there is a good amount of work put into learning to act, and it can be learned like any other skill.

“All you whiners who think you’re bad at acting, it’s not true,” she said. “The more you learn, the better you get and the more you like it.”

STAGE One will have performances Oct.10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Wadleigh Theatre at Daggy Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $10 for general admission and $5 for WSU students with ID.

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One act, four plays