Simpson Theatre prepares for annual Festival of Short Plays


by Mariah Hirsch, Staff Reporter

Simpson Theatre has been preparing for its annual Festival of Short Plays set to premiere on April 15.

This year, the festival is titled “Regarding Shakespeare.” The collection of short plays is inspired and adapted from the works of William Shakespeare.

The festival will consist of six short plays, all of which are directed by senior theatre students Erin Webb, Caitlin Featherstone-Priester, Rebecca Mione, Melissa Moore and Larissa Mincks. Each senior is in charge of directing one short play as a part of their senior seminar. Seniors are also in charge all of the design elements of the show such as sets, backdrops, props and costumes.

Auditions were held on Feb. 29 and rehearsals began the week after spring break. The cast and student directors have been working hard to prepare an entertaining variety of pieces.

Each play ranges between 10 to 30 minutes. The plays are based on either a play or sonnet from Shakespeare’s collection. The production is a compilation of short plays themed around Shakespeare’s era but with a modern twist. The production will include Shakespeare’s sonnets 151 and 140, “Romeo and Juliet” and more.

“The modernization makes the plays more friendly to a general audience,” student and performer Rachel Riley said. “My favorite part during the process has been developing my character and watching my group learn and grow together.”

Riley will be playing the part of Rosalind in the short play titled, “A Roz by Any Other Name.” Rosalind is Romeo’s jealous ex-girlfriend in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Students should come to this production because it is student-run and directed, which guarantees it will be entertaining and awesome,” said Riley.

For senior Taylor Wadsworth, this will be her last year being a part of the production.

“All of the seniors have been working really hard to put together everything,” said Wadsworth. “The short plays are different and unique. This is definitely an entertaining show that you will want to see.”

Last year, Simpson Theatre presented “Wholly Moly Molière.”

Opening night is April 15 and will continue showing through April 16 and April 17 in Barnum Studio Theatre, located in Blank Performing Arts Center. The show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are free for students and faculty.