Acting 350 Showcases Work in One-Person Plays

This past week, five members of Acting 350 performed their original work in the annual Acting One Person Plays show.

The hope for the One Person Plays was that the actors and actresses would take what they learned in their fall term of the class and blow it up into a 15 to 20 minute performance. Tracy Ginder-Delventhal, the Acting 350 teacher and a mentor to all of the actors and actresses, noted, “A one person play is probably the most difficult thing an artist can do — to put themselves out in the public eye, live and alone, is really brave. I am really proud of them.”

Ben Wendel’s ’17 play was called Beowulf: Hero of the Geats, which depicted a minor character in the actual book “Beowulf,” expressing his feeling about his King. Wendel noted, “I think that I imparted the audience with what I wanted to impart, and my connection to the story was there.”

Lily Kops’s ’18 play was called Cynthia, which was inspired, in part, by the song that shares the same name. Kops noted, “The song was what inspired my character and then I wrote my play off of the character.” The play she performed told the story of a young girl who had a difficult childhood and formed a friendship with a bird.

Calvin Carmichael’s ’18 play was called Running Into Yourself, and followed an Olympic runner in the 1990’s who came out on live TV before the Olympics and who later contracted HIV. Cemichael’s play was loosely based on Greg Louganis, who was an Olympic diver and an LGBTQ activist. Carmichael noted, “I was inspired by the Slut and Now That We’re Men plays that were on campus earlier this year, and wanted to highlight the issue of HIV and AIDS in the LGBTQ community.”

Avery Lutter’s ’18 play was called, Jenna: A Celebration of Life. Lutter’s play was about a group of family members and friends speaking at a young girl (Jenna’s) funeral. Lutter noted, “It took a lot of time because I had not idea what I wanted to share. I’m happy with what I have because it’s serious but also has funnier and lighter moments.”

Kaitlyn Dutchin’s ’17 play, The Sins of a Father, was based on the story of Wendy Maldonado, a young mother who killed her abusive husband with the help of one of her sons. Dutchin modified the original story by fictionally depicting Wendy’s childhood. Kaitlyn noted, “This play reflects the truth of growing up in a dysfunctional family and city; issues such as race, family dynamic, and gender-based violence.”

Following the show, the audience was speechless. Olivia McGrath ’18 commented, “The plays were poignant and beautiful and everyone was so passionate and talented!” Kristen Andonie ’17 added, “The plays were so powerful; I just teared up! I am still shaken.” Polina Ermoshkina ’19 remarked, “Everyone had such passion behind what they were doing.”

The Acting 350’s One Person Plays were thus a tremendous hit, bringing amazing work to the Gelb Theatre.

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