Last weekend over 30 students from the Lawrence theatre arts department took part in presenting to the public “An Evening of Ten Minute Plays.” The marathon performance consisted of eight short plays, performed and directed entirely by students. Student directors included Christine Ziemer, Dan Whiteley, Emily Zempel, Joey Gifford, and Zachary Scot Johnson. The plays performed included a wide range of moods and topics, from emotionally rich dramas to satirical comedies, ultimately keeping the audience enthralled throughout the entire performance.The evening also included a play written by junior theatre arts student Brad Lindert. Lindert’s “An Amazing Amount of Gravity” was an avant-garde tale of a troubled widow left to live alone with her son after her husband was killed at war. Actress Holly Bittinger stated that the play was very moving, but required a bit of personal interpretation to perform as well as to watch.
This is the first time an independent production such as this has been put together, and those involved commented on the unique experience of working primarily with their peers on a Lawrence production. Kate Kirkland, assistant stage manager for the production, noted that the show really gave you an opportunity to see the different voices of the student directors come out in a setting like this. Actor Mike Beaderstadt said, “I think it was a great opportunity for the students to work together as actors and directors like this, and I hope it happens again next year.”
Zachary Scot Johnson, who served as production director and the driving force behind the realization of the show, hopes to make independent student productions such as “Ten Minute Plays” a regular occurrence at Lawrence. “It was a real pleasure working with such a wonderfully talented group of people,” Johnson said. “What made this production especially rewarding was that there was nothing at stake, we were all there simply because we love theater.”
If you missed the performance this year, you can surely count on the theatre arts department to put on more independent productions like this in years to come.