Theatrefest Round One Recap

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BY ANTHONY DEL VECCHIO

Co-A&E Editor

This past weekend, the Sacred Heart University Theatre Arts Program (TAP) began round one of Theatrefest. Theatrefest is the annual festival of student created productions looking for the chance to be professionally put on stage.

Kevin Carlson, a senior TAP member double majoring in Business and Theatre Arts, holds the position of Theatrefest Chair on the TAP Executive Board.

“Theatrefest is all about student-written, student-directed, and student-acted shows. The first round is called ‘Writers’ Theatre’ and this round allows for the writers’ shows to be heard,” said Carlson.

“The actors only have the scripts in front of them. After the show, the audience gives the writers and directors feedback on the show.”

There is a total of three rounds to Theatrefest, but the first round was from Nov 30 until Dec 2. Performances were at 7 p.m. each night in the Little Theatre.

“The second round is in ‘Blackbox Style,’ which is when the set only consists of two blocks and four chairs on the stage. The actors must memorize their lines as well as actual blocking,” said Carlson. “After that, the third round will be an actual show! They’ll have costumes, props, and a full set to work with. Only two of the shows will make it to round three.”

The Little Theatre can get filled quickly, as all TAP grant-holders are required to attend at least one performance, and on Sunday, the crowd barely fit in the theatre.

Friday’s performances included: “I’m Still Here,” by Justin Weigel; “The Family,” by Ciara Ryan; and “Nothing,” by Paxton McLane.

Saturday, “Who We Are,” by Brendan Borbone, and “Lawrence the Destroyer vs Greek Life,” by Liam O’Donnell.

Sunday closed out round one with five shows, including: “Carolyn,” by Serge Valcourt; “Bigger Fish to Fry,” by Eve Papa; “The Big Day,” by Steve Mustiano; “Great Expectations,” by Jake Doble; and “Be Who You Are: An Internal Battle,” by Charlie Fusari.

All round one performances were live-streamed through the official TAP Facebook page and the videos are still available to watch and share. The feedback is crucial to those in the program.

“I love listening to what people say,” said senior TAP member and playwright Henley Solomon Jr, who helped create “Be Who You Are: An Internal Battle.”

“What I love about Theatrefest is that you get to meet and work with like-minded people who share the same love for theater. Not often do you get to be in the room with the writers and actors; we really get to incubate these ideas and bounce them off each other,” said Solomon.

“As a writer, this is a great platform to test new ideas in a creative and collaborative space,” said Justin Weigel, a junior and the TAP Executive Board New Works Chair.

“We’re all so proud to be a part of something up-and-coming. It’s special and really a privilege because many universities will not, or just cannot, do something like this,” said Weigel.

Information on round two of Theatrefest will be released next semester.

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