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Home Arts & Culture Student Directors Bring Comedy and Wild West to One Act Play Festival

Freshman Daniel Duffy holds up a gun for intimidation in “Outlaws,” a play written and directed by student Eric James. Photo by Sonja Brandt.

By Benjamin Gordon

 

Concordia’s theater department finishes its performance season each year with a One Act Play Festival, showcasing the work of student directors. This year, two student directors presented plays from differing genres: a Western drama and a comedy set in the present day.

The two plays were“The Search for Cindy,” directed by junior Faith Greenmyer, and “Outlaws,” written and directed by junior Eric James.

“The Search for Cindy” had a more lighthearted tone and relied on bigger group interactions. “Outlaws” had a more dramatic tone and contained more monologues and conversations among smaller groups of characters.

“Outlaws” revolved around a character called Boone played by freshman Daniel Duffy and his dynamic of being both an outlaw and a seemingly honest sheriff. The audience followed the action as Boone went on a journey with his accomplice Early (junior Sam Smith) to rob a bank and ended up killing everyone he cared about.

“Outlaws” had several complicated character development moments surrounding Boone and his moral tangle of being both a criminal and sheriff at the same time.

“In truth, Boone is like a sociopath,” Smith said. “He is playing both the town and my character Early, and he’s tricked the town into thinking he (is) this wonderful, good sheriff, and my character Early into thinking he’s a dirty sheriff. But in reality, he’s both…It’s kind of hard to pick up, but I think most got it.”

“The Search for Cindy” was the longer of the two plays and revolved around the character of Tim (sophomore Drew Boggs) falling in love with his childhood friend, Hope (junior Julia O’Laughlin). The play featured several comedic scenes as Tim tried to remove an old heart tattoo with the name of his ex-girlfriend, Cindy (junior Delaney Doremus).

“The Search for Cindy” included a memorable scene between Tim and the tattoo artist (junior Sam Smith) in which Tim requests the heart tattoo with Cindy’s name. The tattoo artist warns him not to do it, but Tim does not listen.

“We both had a really great time, and I think we were both just having so much fun (with) this it made acting easy, and we just started doing weirder and weirder things as time went on,” Smith said. “For instance, in one of the shows, Drew (took) his shirt off, threw it at me, and I threw it right back at him. The crowd was rolling laughing.”

Another notable moment from “The Search for Cindy” was a scene where the all the men were dancing with their shirts off in an Icelandic restaurant. The main server at the restaurant (junior Joseph Greenmyer) pulled the act together with his hilarious antics.

When asked John Kastner who played one of the shirtless extras said,

“I was asked (to do it), and I thought it was funny and ridiculous, so I thought, ‘Why not?’” said senior John Kastner, who played one of the shirtless extras.

Director Faith Greenmyer later commented on the logistics of asking each actor for permission to participate in the scene.  

“It really depended on actor preference,” Greenmyer said. “That was one of the things I asked Drew ahead of time, and I asked each extra as well…It was definitely the part at the beginning I was most nervous about.”

Kastner said the One Acts require a considerable amount of time from the actors and directors, but he found the experience to be manageable.

“It really wasn’t that bad until tech week,” Kastner said. “It’s just the nature of the beast.”

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