“The Winter One Acts gives you a seat to the world-premiere of five new shows put on by your fellow students,” says director and costume designer Pia Mueller.
Students of all majors will join together from Wednesday, February 28 through March 3 to perform the Winter One Acts. Also known as the One Act Festival, these are one-act plays written and performed by North Park Students.
“I love the variety of people that are involved. For other shows, it is usually the same group of people involved; but for the One Act festivals, it’s people from all over campus. We have everyone from music majors to international students,” says Pia. Pia is a criminal justice major who enjoys the creative power and liberty which comes along with creating costumes for each of the shows. “I have the ability to shape how the audience sees the characters. And as a director, I can take a script and create a show from it.”
This year’s theme for the Winter One Act Festival is “Breaking out of the Box,” stories which tell of how people make decisions and the consequences. The plays aim to show how these impact us and the ways in which they make us who we are.
When the lights go up, it is Stage Manager Mara Franzen who gives the order. “My favorite part is Tech, which is when we bring in all the costumes, light, sound, props, costumes, and actors all together in the same place for the first time. During the actual performances, I am in the booth calling light and sound cues, and overseeing transitions between the different shows.” Mara, who is a triple major in theater, creative writing, and Scandinavian studies, describes her favorite part of the One Acts: “My favorite part is the very first run of the shows with tech, all the pieces come together, we get to see the whole festival fall into place, and there is such a sense of pride in the art we are creating.”
The shows will begin every evening at 7:30 and will run for about an hour and a half. Admission is $5 for anyone who wishes to attend (but if you find a “Breaking out of the Box” promotional postcard on campus, you can get $1 off). The One Act Festival is open to all!
“I would tell someone who hasn’t seen the One Acts to just give it a shot. It’s all student-led so it’s flexible and it’s just a great intro to NPU theatre,” says Payton Walles, who is an actor this year. The English education major adds, “this year, the plays all do a good job of showing people reaching a different breaking point and how many different ways someone can deal with life-changing incidents.” This will be Walles’ second year acting in the Winter One Acts.
“The challenges and joys that accompany storefront theatre provide the perfect foundation for a tight-knit community,” says Professor of Theater Dr. Chad Eric Bergman, “and that is exactly what you can expect from North Park Theatre.”