McDaniel College Theatre presents a Student-Directed Play Festival, featuring two one-act plays, March 1 through March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
In his manic comedy “The Actor’s Nightmare,” Tony Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang explores every performer’s worst fear. Having casually wandered onstage, George is informed that one of the actors, has been in an auto accident and he must replace him immediately. Apparently, no one is sure of what play is being performed but George, costumed as Hamlet, seems to find himself in the middle of a scene from Private Lives. As he fumbles through one missed cue after another the other actors shift to Hamlet, then a play by Samuel Beckett, and then a climactic scene from what might well be A Man for All Seasons—by which time the disconcerted George has lost all sense of contact with his fellow performers. Yet, in the closing moments of the play, he rises to the occasion and finally says the right lines, whereupon make-believe suddenly gives way to a surreal scene that sends George into oblivion—denying him a well-earned curtain call. “The Actor’s Nightmare” is directed by junior Brandon Richards. The cast consists of Torreke Evans, Andrew Frascella, Mary Guest, Antoinette Martin, Chris Shatzer, and Patsy Zetkulic.
In Tad Mosel’s “Impromptu,” four actors sit on a darkened stage, awaiting the arrival of the stage manager who has called them together. Lacking his authoritative presence, they are merely characters in search of a play to become part of, for their own personalities seem unformed and shallow next to the full-blooded figures they are used to playing. As they wait, the stage lights come up—but still no one appears to tell them what they are to do. They know only that they are not to leave the stage until they have "acted out the play." Suddenly becoming aware that an audience is present, the actors decide to improvise, an idea which finds them slightly flustered. The "drama" which unfolds is a mixture of truth, fantasy and well-rehearsed situations, but out of it, in subtle progression, comes a deepening awareness of the real people behind the theatrical facades. Senior Theatre Arts major Brandi Weyers directs the play. Bryan Bowen, Colleen Clark, Megan Smith, and Kevin Tyson comprise the cast.
“I am so extremely excited to be directing officially at McDaniel College for the first time,” says junior Brandon Richards. “It is a tremendous opportunity that I have been given and I hope to succeed in my goal of bringing ‘The Actor's Nightmare’ to life. I chose this play because I am very familiar with Christopher Durang and I absolutely love his work. His comedic writing and wit are extraordinary. I wanted to showcase his brilliant writing with some of my own directing abilities. I hope that this process will help me decide whether or not I want to fully pursue directing in the future, and perhaps even direct another show here at McDaniel.”
Brandi Weyers, a senior at McDaniel, is a theatre arts major with a concentration in acting. “Directing was always something that scared me; it seemed to be too big of a task for any one person to take on,” she states. “As time went by, and I became a more experienced actor, I became more confident in my own abilities. The first time I read ‘Impromptu,’ I knew I wanted to direct it. ‘Impromptu’ is one of those thought-provoking pieces that leaves an audience wanting to speculate about it afterwards. It really speaks to me and I can't wait to share the show with the College and local communities.”
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, students, military, and the McDaniel College community. For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.
Wednesday, March 1 at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 2 at 7:30pm
Friday, March 3 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 4 at 7:30pm