Festival features student casts and a collaborative project among exchange students
Concordia University’s One-Act Play Festival is running again this year from November 9 until November 13 at the Henry F. Hall Building. This year’s festival is called Moments and consists of five, one-act plays, all featuring a cast of Concordia students.
Cristina Gorgos Iovita is a festival coordinator and director of one of the plays, Mistero Buffo, written by the late Dario Fo, the Italian actor and playwright. “The festival is in a new format this year in order to give more opportunity for all students to have stage experiences,” she said. “The criteria for this year’s festival was that plays be one hour maximum time so that we could have many different(a maximum of?) acting, design and production students involved.”
Each of the five plays features a cast entirely of Concordia students. Along with Mistero Buffo, the other shows of the weekend are V-Cards, written by Jesse Strong and Step Taylor, Constellations, written by Nick Payne, Plays by Don Nigro, written by Don Nigro, and underbelly, a student project.
“Three of the five plays are of Anglo-American origin,” said Cristina, “Mistero Buffo is a modern European piece, and underbelly is a new kind of creative collection done by students participating in an exchange this year, from Concordia as well as students from Erlangen University, Germany.” underbelly was an 8 month collaboration amongst the German and Concordia exchange students and is an entirely student-led project, exploring the theme of monsters and hybrids within art and performance.
Emma Heywood is performing in V-Cards, monologues and dialogues on virginity and sexuality. “In V-Cards, the entire cast will be playing more than one role, and we are using masks to differentiate our characters,” she explained. “It has been a great experience playing with the masks, and getting to know our characters and watching ourselves transform through using them.”
The students in the festival were in charge of much of the aesthetic of their own plays, in some cases from costuming to music. “We are trying to teach our students how to make theatre that is entertaining and to perform with a profound message with no withdrawal of aesthetic vision, even on a lower budget performance,” said Cristina. “With limited funds for theatre in the world right now, we need to be inspired and creative to capture the imagination of the public. That’s what I try to teach my students, and I know that they can do it.”
The festival runs until November 13, with five unique and memorable plays being showcased, all filled to the brim with student talent. Three shows are performed each night, so make sure to check which shows are playing the night you attend! For more information on the festival, click here.