Spring Festival brings original plays

By: Jarrett Quick

springDMACC’s Huff Theater will be putting on a collection of plays for the annual Spring Festival. The festival includes three original plays performed and directed by students and locals, all with varying levels of experience in the field of drama.

To some students, like “Betwixt” director Carissa Best, the stage is familiar territory.

“In high school, I directed an IHSSA performance. It was an ensemble piece,” Best said.

For others, the experience has been a hectic one.

Director David Bonish found his position after taking over for a director who wasn’t able to fulfill his duties with the festival.

Rehearsals have been going on for the last month and a half, with students fine tuning their respective plays.

In the case of one of the plays “Jane Doe 232,” the performers had to cut the play from 45 pages down to 10. For drama professor William Johnson, experiencing changes like this are part of the process.

“The tradition of the Spring Festival has always been that there’s no safety net, “ Johnson said, “Students get the satisfaction of knowing they did it themselves. Likewise, if it does fall apart they experience the consequences for it.”

Johnson still advises the program, but the Spring Festival hasn’t always gone according to plan.

“If someone comes to me with a problem, I say ‘What’s the solution,’ and at least once a cast mutinied. They quit and walked out.” Johnson said, “The director has to solve the problems put upon them.”

The main factor that decides if a play is produced is how many people are able to audition and perform in the play. Every year the festival serves as an outlet for as many plays it has cast members to perform.

Anyone can submit a play to the festival by e-mail or bringing a copy to Johnson’s office by the auditorium in Building 6.

Each year brings variety, and this year is no different. The 2012 festival includes three plays: “Betwixt” and “Jane Doe 232”  both by writer Tom Dieker and one titled “Monsters” written by Mark Joenks.

The Festival takes place in the Huff Theater at 12:50 and 7 p.m. April 18 as well as 12:20 and 7 p.m. April 19.

For more information on the festival or to submit a play, Theater Professor William Johnson can be reached by email at Dmaccdrama@juno.com.

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