Two shows have advanced to the final round of TheatreFest: “Taking a Drive” by seniors Sam Deluise and Paul Keegan, a staff writer for the Spectrum, and “My Big Fat (Ancient) Greek Wedding” by seniors Noah Vargoshe and Codi Lynders, PR manager for the Spectrum.
“This is a great year for TheatreFest. Actually, the best year since the beginning many years ago. We had 18 amazing scripts, which means we had to double the performance days to hear all of the shows in the first round,” said Executive Director of Performing Arts, Jerry Goehring.
TheatreFest is a playwriting festival where students have the opportunity to write an original show and bring it to life on the stage. Being a festival that is student-driven, there are a variety of roles available for students to get involved, whether it be as a writer, director, stage manager, or actor.
This festival is comprised of three rounds, which take place between both the fall and spring semesters. The first round is a version of reader’s theatre, where the actors read the script with nothing besides a script and music stand. Shows that move forward participate in Round 2, where the director incorporates simple blocking with limited set and tech elements. From that point, whichever shows that have shown the most potential throughout the 3 rounds receive the opportunity to be a fully produced show.
Goehring, selects the shows that move on throughout the festival. This was a ground-breaking year for the festival, as there were so many submissions that Round 1 had to be split into two parts.
“Taking a Drive” is an original musical, where Deluise wrote the script and lyrics, while Keegan covered the musical aspects. Their show was the only musical submitted to the festival this year.
“Most of the time I’ll write lyrics for a song with a melody in mind. Then I’ll sing the song acappella into my phone and send it to Paul along with a text copy of the lyrics,” said Deluise. “Then Paul works his magic [and I do mean real magic] and he makes the instrumental from scratch.”
“Taking a Drive” is an insight to the connection between four old friends. The characters form deeper connections throughout the story and allow the audience to share the ride.
Sophomore Sean Ryan is an actor in the show, and he has been a part of the cast since September when the show was submitted for the first round. The show specifically resonated with him because it is based off of Rhode Island, his home state.
“The show taught me to live your life with no regrets, and that you should spend every moment you can appreciating the people around you and appreciating what you have,” Ryan said.
“My Big Fat (Ancient) Greek Wedding” is the second show, and the story follows Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and what would happen if she could not keep a relationship to save her life. The show is a comedy, and it showcases Aphrodite if she ended up like one of the women on “The Bachelor.”
“Taking a Drive” and “My Big Fat (Ancient) Greek Wedding” are free and open to the public. They will run the weekend of Feb. 23-26 in the Little Theatre.