Laughter and love end AWT’s 2017-2018 season

11 shows hit the stage in Actors Workshop Theatre’s 19th director’s festival

Emily Whalen and Grayson Norsworthy star in Mariana Makulkina’s The Gift. (Submitted)

Every year, TRU’s theatre program showcases the work of the students in the directing class and the talent of both senior and beginner acting students in a week filled with many performances. This year’s festival has 11 different plays being showcased from April 9-14, with Night A performances on April 9, 11, 13 and Night B performances on Apr il10, 12, 14.

Night A begins with Hannah Allen’s show The True Love Story of My Parents written by Elizabeth Meriwether. When asked why people should come, Allen said that there’s a lot of variety as “you get a taste of eleven different shows if you come both nights”.

Next is Sure Thing directed by Selena Tobin and written by David Ives.

“It’s about a guy who gets to have second chances at his first impression,” Tobin said. “It’s super cheap and you get to expose yourself to a ton of theatre”.

The third show of the evening is directed by Kelsey Launier called Insect Love, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Launier explained that people should take interest in her comedy simply for its silliness.

“It’s a cooky, kind of corny comedy that is very refreshing and it will leave people feeling content and happy,” Launier said.

Following Launier is Joel Feenstra’s show Perfect Pitch, written by Frederick Stroppel. Feenstra said that his play is a dark yet comedic look at the debate between morality and money and that people should see it to laugh and smile about something serious.

Concluding the Night A performances is Louis and Dave, written by Norm Foster and directed by Jeff Daniels.

“All the shows are different and really unique and it’s kind of a reflection of the department that we have here,” Daniels said of the festival.

Starting off Night B is Mariana Makulkina’s show The Gift, written by Simon Fields. Makulkina’s show is the only dramatic play in Director’s Festival.

“It explores topics of being lost, love, death, depression and suicide,” Makulkina said.

The second show of Night B is Your Mother’s Butt, directed by Elizabeth King and written by Alan Ball. This year’s festival is filled with comedies, in which King added that every show this year is quite light-hearted for the most part.

After that is Brittney Martens show Love Always, written by Jim Fagan. Martens show follows the life of two soul mates falling in love with months going by in seconds throughout the play.

The fourth show of the night is Shannon Cooper’s show I do, You die, written by Carrie McCrossen.

“It challenges love and what happens when you fight with the one you love [and with that] a lot of people will be able to relate to the content,” said Cooper while talking about her show.

Following Cooper’s play is The Rental written by Mark Harvey Levine and directed by Jennelle Young.

When asked to describe her show, Young said “what do you get for a girl who seems to have everything, except a love life? Try and get her a boyfriend.”

The last show of director’s festival 2018 is none other than Ashley Hiibner’s show, Blind Willie and the Talking Dog, written by Shel Silverstein. Hiibner gave 3 distinct reasons why people should come to her play.

“A, because it’s awesome. B, because it’s the only one with musical elements, and C, it’s really really funny,” Hiibner said.

There are many opportunities to catch these shows. Tickets are available at the door or you can pick them up at the AWT box office in Old Main from April 9-13 between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for one night or $20 for two.