Every year for the past 20 years, Harding’s Department of Theatre has produced a one-act festival. This year, the theme is “Seasons of Life.” Juniors with either theater majors or minors are required to direct a ten-minute play that ties into a greater theme.
Britton Lynn, theatre professor and producer of the One-Act Festival explained this year’s theme. He said that there seems to be a cycle of how we engage in life as we get older and in relationships formed.
Lynn also said that as the production team started looking at scripts, they realized that they could program a few weekends of shows that dealt with youthful relationships, and bring the show full circle as relationships mature near the end of life.
“All of the shows we submitted had a theme of change,” Junior Kara Treadwell said. “Whether that would be the start of some new relationship (spring), an old, familiar relationship rekindling (summer), a new direction or change of “color” in your life (fall), or a moment in your life that changes for the worst (winter), they’re all important because they’re all life.”
Treadwell is directing The Zoo Story by Edward Albee, a play she said is convoluted with metaphors and hidden meanings.
“We spent whole rehearsals getting to know each other so we could bring our different perspectives to the development of these characters,” Treadwell said. “We were able to more intensely hone in on the meaning and less on the technical aspects of the production. I believe we all grew artistically during the process.”
It is a requirement in the major to participate in a one-act festival in order for students to experience the role of director in which they gain a first-hand perspective on how a show gets put together, according to Lynn. The students also get to see how their particular show fits into a much larger season event.
“All other productions that I have been in at Harding have been directed by someone that isn’t me,” junior Katherine Stinnett said. “This time, I am the person that a full cast … is relying on for everything.”
Lynn also said he hopes that the audience can clearly see how relationships in life have a different life cycle and how people act differently at different stages of life.
“Every single person on this planet is in a different ‘Season of Life’,” Stinnett said. “They are different ages, they are from different places with different backgrounds and families which form different attitudes and different everyday situations.”
The event will take place at the Ulrey Performing Arts Center March 23-25 and March 30-April 1 at 7 p.m. It will cost $10 per performance, and you can purchase tickets at Hardingtickets.com.