By Mary Best
St. Bonaventure University will revive its biennial one-act festival production this November in a diverse, 6-piece presentation entitled "Knowing and Un-Knowing."
Ed. Simone, director of the theater program, said the list includes two plays which have been previously unpublished and were part of the 2012 Source festival in Washington, D.C.
"'National Smoke Signal Day' (by Billy Finn) is a surprising ten-minute play about a young man and woman skipping school on a day when everything in their lives suddenly and irrevocably changes," Simone said. "'Be What You Wish to Seem' (by Jonathan Spector) follows a couple breaking-up, who decide to transform themselves into other people and other forms of existence with bizarre results."
The list also includes "Words Words Words" by David Ives, "The Role of Della" by John Wooten, "An Ongoing Examination of the True Meaning of Life" by S. W. Senek and "The Winged Man" by Jose Rivera.
The Ives production is one of Simone's favorites.
"It which explores the philosophical observation (actual) that three chimps typing into infinity will eventually write 'Hamlet,'" he said. "Our actors are having a grand time rehearsing being apes."
Sophomore theater and journalism and mass communication major Tori Lanzillo portrays one of the main characters in "The Winged Man," a girl who has to fight for her family and friends to believe the truth about her pregnancy, a completely new acting experience for Lanzillo.
"I like this play because it is a completely new experience," she said. "You have 10-15 minutes to tell an entire story. You don't have two hours to get into character, you start right in the middle and have to be able to bring that intensity out right from the beginning."
The shorter plays posed an acting challenge unprecedented by some of the cast, as this is their first experience participating in multiple shows and portraying multiple characters within the same night, including junior journalism and mass communication major Makeda Loney.
"Working on mutiple plays at once for me right now is not too horrible, since the genres of the two plays are completely different so I couldn't confuse my lines," Loney said. "They are also short, which means we get to run them more and refine them each night we rehearse."
Lanzillo also said she the quick change between characters is an exhilarating change.
"Doing many short plays at once is something else that I have never done before," Lanzillo said. "You have to change characters from one play to the next quickly, which is a challenge but a great experience."
The cast also includes Brett Keegan, Isaac Clayson, Anna Martin, Whitney Downard, Brooke Perkins and Hannah Vail.
While it has been longer than the usual two year gap between the program's one act play festivals, Simone is looking forward to its revival as the second production in the program's tenth anniversary season.
"It's going to be a wonderful evening of theater," Simone Said.
"Knowing and Un-Knowing," directed by Ed. Simone and designed by senior theater and journalism and mass communication major Emily West will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1 & 2 at 7:30, and Saturday, December 1 at 2:00 in the Garret Theater.
To learn more about Theater at St. Bonaventure, click here.