Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Upcoming play festival focuses on the theme of relationships

Among OU-C student-actors in the upcoming 10-minute play festival are Xavier Newsome (left), Sara McDowell and Marcos J. Clemmons. The performances will be held at 8 p.m. on April 10 and April 11 in the Bennett Hall auditorium.

A 10-minute Play Festival will be presented for two performances at 8 p.m. on April 10 and on April 11 in the Bennett Hall auditorium at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Each evening’s performance includes nine plays, with six OU-C students filling the various roles. Tickets are available at the OU-C Bennett Hall box office on the evening of the performances 30 minutes before the show. Tickets are $5 and free for OU-C students, faculty, and staff members.

The short plays are the work of renowned playwright Lisa Soland and center on the theme of relationships. Some examine the awkwardness when first meeting someone with a love interest, and some use the idea of ladders to point to how people measure themselves in life. Soland offers a witty and light view of human nature.
This production is directed by OU-C theatre director Steven McBride and has an impressive cast of student actors, featuring Tishiona Chambers, Marcos J. Clemmons, Kathy Dyer, Sara McDowell, Jennifer Nelson and Xavier Newsome.

The student-actors are enjoying the challenge of playing various characters.

“It is a lot of work, but I enjoy it,’ said McDowell, a sophomore who is undecided on her academic major. “It can be difficult to get in and out of that many characters. I always read the script to get an idea of the entirely of the situation and then try to put myself in that role by trying to determine what the character I am playing would do in that situation.”

“I think all of the plays are intense in their own way. They pull from issues that deal with everyday life and are relatable while also making people in the audience think,” McDowell said.

Newsome said, “It is not easy, and timing – in terms of when we come on stage, knowing our lines and where we are at in each play – is a major part of the show. I enjoy it. Most people see me as a funny guy, but I get to play more serious characters It is really cool to be someone different, and it brings out a different side of me. All of the roles involve important messages.” Newsome is a dance major.

Clemmons, a middle childhood education major, said. “It has been a daunting task to memorize lines for six plays. I have to get into a different mindset for each role and switch between lighter and darker sides of who I am. Being in theater has made my college experience more enjoyable. I have been able to make more relationships on campus and connect with people.”

According to McBride, “This play has great writing, and combined with the commitment of our wonderful actors, I believe it will be a great evening of theatre.”

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