DePauw’s Green Center for the Performing Arts has hosted the likes of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, critically-acclaimed musicals such as Sister Act and the Rocky Horror Show, and the popular comedies and tragedies of Sophocles and Shakespeare. One event stands out from the crowd in the 2019 season, however, because every aspect of DePauw One Acts, even down to the playwriting, is done by students.
“There’s something special about student work,” director of One Acts, professor Steven Timm said. “And the opportunity to see it through from an idea to a full production is both challenging and rewarding.”
Every few years, Timm selects a few pieces written by his students to be produced on the big stage. However, this year, Timm selected the three students before the One Acts were written. The performances will be done by seniors Caroline Knight, Kate Woods, and Megan Mannering. “I chose to do the One Acts before they were written, so that presents its own challenges.”
This means that every part of the production process from the conception of an idea for each piece to its set design and ticket sales were done by students in less than a year. Knight wrote one of the plays being featured this weekend titled, Online Classes.
“When I was first writing it, I didn’t have the intention of ever having it seen by anyone,” Knight said.
Knight was first introduced to Timm after she took his Writing for the Stage, Screen, and Television course a few semesters ago. “It’s been really cool to see how my own vision for it is being portrayed, but also the aspects that I envisioned in the beginning that are now different,” Knight said.
The “vision” Knight describes for all three plays is especially striking because of the way Timm and Theater Production students have designed the sets. DePauw One Acts will be performed in the style of black box theater, where the audience is actually seated on stage with the actors and the sets are minimal, but effective nonetheless.
“The focus on one-act plays, the way we do them, isn’t on elaborate sets, but on the acting and writing,” Timm said.
And thus the students are center stage: the writers, the actors, and the designers, all of whom will be displaying months of work in DePauw One Acts. One Acts opens Thursday night at 7:30 pm in Moore Auditorium and continues through the weekend.