Demonic possession, writer’s rage and bare buns

April 22, 2016 Featured Slider, Latest, News Print Print
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Neil Newby, Nichole Harewell, Keegan Zimmerman, Jerusha Laurel Brown and Ro Carter appear in character for “Very Still and Hard 2 See” Photo by Mark Fairchild

From the darkest places of desire, to a heated argument between two lesbians to an inappropriate military medical examination …

All this clearly describes the three one-act plays that will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 28, 29 and 30 in the Bruce Owen Theater.

The plays will be directed and performed by students.

Drama professor Brent Noel said he chose who would get to direct the one-act plays.

“I have selected three students who are confident in their directing abilities, and I have confidence in them,” Noel said.

“The directing project gives our students the opportunity to learn all aspects of working with actors, the stage crew and overseeing everything involved in directing a play, and without a whole lot of interference from me.”

Each student director has selected the play of his or her choice.

Tiffane Shorter is directing the one-act play entitled “Next.”

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Cheyenne Clawson and Danielle Hanson rehearse for “No Such Thing,” the one-act play directed by David Chen. Photo by David Chen

“The story is about a man, Marion Cheever, played by Arthur Thomas Williams, who gets his draft notice to serve in the military.

When Cheever goes to get his medical examination, he is determined to avoid being drafted.

However, Sgt. Thech, played by McKensie Dill, is determined to sign him up, Shorter said.

“This dark comedy follows that storyline,” she said.

Dill describes her character, Sgt. Thech.

“She is stern, she doesn’t care, and she is in the military and does not take crap from anyone,” Dill said.

Thech is determined that Cheever will serve his country.

During this play, Williams’ character strips down to his underwear for his examination, and eventually winds up nude under a sheet.

Assistant Director Miranda LoPresti said the play is funny.

“The audience is going to laugh through most of this play,” she said. “But it’s not a PG rated, family-friendly Disney one-act.

“What is the message of this show?” LoPresti said. “The message is, shit happens, and you don’t always get your way.”

“Next” is about 15 minutes long.

OCCC student David Chen is directing “No Such Thing.”

“Our play is a simple and short scene between two very resolved characters wanting something,” Chen said.

Stephanie, played by Cheyenne Clawson, has submitted a story about the LGBT community and used a pseudonym.

The editor of the national magazine, Ellen, played by Danielle Hanson, loves Stephanie’s story, and calls her in for a meeting, Chen said.

The audience will learn that Ellen and Stephanie had a fling in their college days. The editor tells Stephanie that they are going to print her story, but they have to use her real name; otherwise, they are not allowed to publish it.

Stephanie refuses, knowing that she will be outed, and could lose her job at a university where she is a professor. Her school is located in the heart of a closed Mormon community in Utah.

“This is where the conflict begins,” Chen said. “Stephanie knows that the dean of the college where she works will find out that she is a lesbian.

“Sparks, fireworks and rage

happen when the editor informs Stephanie that her story will be printed under her real name whether she approves or not,” Chen said.

Clawson said she started acting as a child, and has been cast in 15 plays, while this is the first play for Hanson. Krista Coleman is the assistant director.

“No Such Thing” will be 10 minutes long.

The longest play of the three, at 35 minutes, is “Very Still and Hard 2 See.”

This ambitious one-act is directed by Mark Fairchild.

It has six actors playing 13 characters in five short scenes.

“It has a haunted hotel, plus demons and evil spirits who start causing ugly and dark things to happen,” Fairchild said.

Tomas Torres plays the architect, Buck, who designed the hotel, and is used by a demon named Obake, played by Jerusha Jezek.

“My character manipulates Buck to build the hotel over the pit I live in, by offering to give Buck his darkest desires,” Jezek said.

Torres said the demonic theme appealed to him.

“I like to embrace the dark side of theater,” Torres said. “Our show is a whole different experience, and it’s not recommended for children.”

Fairchild said, “Everyone keeps saying our one-act is dark. It’s not just dark, it’s pitch black, with good guys and bad, leaving the question who is and who isn’t.”

The other actors helping to create the 13 characters are Nichole Rene, Keegan Zimmerman, Ro Carter and Neil Newby. Assisting the director is Krista Coleman.

Noel said the plays are worth watching.

“We decided to make it easy for everyone to come see these three outstanding one-acts,” he said. “Admission is free for all three nights.”

For more information, contact Noel at bnoel@occc.edu.

 

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