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Home Arts & Culture Annual One-Act Play Performances Draw Large Crowds

by Rachael Edler


The Black Box Theater could not contain the large crowds that gathered to see Concordia students perform and direct at Concordia’s annual student-led One Act Play Festival. Audience members were packed into the Black Box, and when no more room was left, people were turned away or told to come back the next day.

One-act plays range anywhere from ten minutes to an hour long and offer a different type of theater than a typical two-hour play gives.

This year’s plays included a step back into the 1950s, nerve-racking courtroom scenes, not-so-romantic relationships, murder and even the comedic life of a socially anxious teenager. Each play included life lessons and spoke to audiences of all ages. There was dialogue older people understood as well as some physical comedy younger people could appreciate.

The Annual One-Act Play Festival features student directors who sometimes direct plays they have written. This year, sophomores Benjamin Leeper and Michael Duffy, juniors Alicia Royuk and Emily Kollbaum and post-baccalaureate Kaleb Busche directed plays. Leeper and Duffy both wrote and directed their own plays for the festival.

Leeper got the idea for his play when he reread the story of David and Jonathan in the Bible. He found the sacrificial element of their relationship unique and wished to portray that relationship to a culture that does not think males have meaningful, deeper than surface-level friendships.

“My play is designed to take a deeper look at male friendships,” Leeper said. “It breaks common misconceptions that guys can’t have true close friends.”

“Knowing some of the directors personally is interesting,” junior Brandon Luetchens said. “People write from experience, and you really get to see the parallels between the person’s life and the play they wrote.”

The actors have been working since February to perform these five one-act plays.

Audience members were amazed at how well the actors made the play their own and portrayed their characters in a believable way. Often times the audience was so captivated by the stories that when a play ended in an emotionally riveting way, the Black Box was silent.

“The plays were super impressive,” audience member Suzanne Raabe said. “I loved the mix of serious and comedy, there was a good variety and the actors did awesome.”

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