College students take turns at directing
|An evening of ACCC one-acts
Thursday — Saturday
A series of short plays will cover everything this week from the inner workings of the human psyche to pancakes.
Allen County Community College students Nachele Gonsalez, Lindsey Jarvis, Elizabeth Otto, Paige Schauf, Garrett Skidmore and Chris Yackle are taking the helm for the college’s annual student-directed one-act plays, which premiere at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the ACCC Theatre.
Tickets for the three-night performances — it repeats Friday and Saturday — are available in advance at Iola Pharmacy for $6 for adults and $4 for students. Students from ACCC will be admitted free of charge.
Each of the young directors spoke about the challenges and benefits of sitting in the director’s chair, as well as directing their fellow schoolmates on stage.
Jarvis wrote and directed “Commercial: The Play,” a spoof of many commercials shown on late night television.
Schauf penned and di-rected “And a Blueberry Muffin,” a story about a young woman seeking refuge in a bookstore.
Skidmore is directing “Id,” a play featuring the bickering components of the lead character’s personality.
Yackle, meanwhile, is sitting in the director’s chair for “Pancakes,” the story of a pair of roommates and — what else — their affinity for pancakes.
Gonsalez and Otto are serving as co-directors for “English: It’s Where the Words Are,” the story of a bickering young couple in Brooklyn.
JARVIS CAME up with the idea for “Commercial” after watching one too many ads on television.
Her one-act includes a number of parodies, spoofing such infamous ads as Cash 4 Gold, Priceline and the “Twilight” movie series.
“I thought about it for a while before I realized I knew I had to make fun of them,” Jarvis said. Once the idea for “Commercial” was in place, the ideas began to flow freely. The entire process of writing the script took less than two weeks, Jarvis said.
Her cast includes fellow directors Schauf, Gonsalez and Otto, as well as Mack Melvin, Jon Eddy, Sean Swanson, Desiree Mason, Jessica Truitt and Billy Wicks.
The students also will do short commercial spoofs in between the other one-acts, Jarvis said, with plenty of improvisation and audience interaction.
“It’s been fun,” Jarvis said, but there’s been a major challenge. “With all of the actors my age, it was difficult at times to get them to trust me and trust my direction.” As rehearsals progressed, that sense of trust grew, Jarvis said.