One act festival gives seniors a chance to showcase their skills



Students performed an adaptation of “The 39 Steps: A Live Radio Play” on Monday, April 25 at Loyola’s Lower Depths Theater. The play was directed by Shelby Kirby, the- atre arts senior, and part of the “One Act Festival.”

Chasity Pugh, staff writer

As the semester comes to an end, theatre arts seniors showcased their directing talents and brought their visions to the stage over four nights of performances.

The Spring Senior One Act Festival was presented by the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, and gave student actors the opportunity to hone their skills and seniors the chance to make their directing debuts.

Alex Pucciarelli, theatre business sophomore, said that she chose to participate as an actor in the festival because she loved the working environment which included less pressure than a main stage production and lots of laughs.

“If I had to describe participating in the Senior One Act Festival in one word it would be ‘fun’,’” Pucciarelli said.

Pucciarelli said that unlike a main stage production, the Senior One Act Festival included a smaller environment which puts less presure on those involved.

She added that getting to know her director was one of her favorite things about the festival.

“You get to interact with the directors so much more due to the fact that they are your peers; you have classes with them, you hang out with them,” Pucciarelli said.

Katie Bandit, theatre arts senior, said that as a director, working with other students made the job more enjoyable.

“One of my favorite things was working with fellow students because as a director, you are their peer and they are willing to work with you which makes the job easier,” Bandit said.

Ronald Chavis, theatre arts senior, said that he had a great experience directing “Good Luck (In Farsi)” by Neil LaBute, a play that appealed to him since he was familiar with the playwright’s work from his theatre classes.

“One of the best parts about participating in this festival was probably watching my actresses grow from when they first started,” Chavis said.

While Chavis ran into issues with some of his actors due to illness and time conflicts that led to a week of missed rehearsal, he still managed to make it work and push forward.

“The audience reaction was flawless,” Chavis said.

With a new class of theatre arts seniors rising, Bandit said that she hopes other students will be interested in directing as well.

“It was a great experience. Even though I don’t want to do it as a career, it was great working with students,” Bandit said.

Chavis said that if he could give future seniors any advice when it comes to directing a play for the festival, it would be to go with what they can handle.

“I would tell them not to do something too big. When thinking of production, sometimes you want to choose a big play with grand sound and set, but with the time that isn’t plausible,” Chavis said.

As far as student actors looking to participate, Pucciarelli said the first step they should take is to audition and come prepared. By memorizing lines and blocking, it makes the directors’ jobs a bit less stressful.

“We, as a whole cast and crew, are trying to make something great in a span of a month with little to no professional adult help, because we, the students, are the professionals this time around,” Puccarelli said.