Students Act and Direct for One Acts

Photo credit Richard Brusky

Photo credit Richard Brusky

By Paul Maranan

Theater is alive and well at the College of Southern Nevada as students took part in the One Act Festival in early October producing seven shows for the season.

It’s likely that no one would have guessed that this was the first stage production for Actor Chris Olloa who played the hilarious male lead in “One Tennis Shoe”. Olloa, a political science major at CSN, had never set foot on stage before and harbored a deep respect for the arts. When auditions for the One Act Festival were announced, he saw it as an opportunity to get involved with CSN’s community.

“It was life-changing,” Olloa said. “I found a talent I didn’t know I had.”

Students like Olloa were part of the plan for CSN Instructor Mindy Woodhead. She noticed the College had few main-stage productions and could not accommodate all the students who wanted to participate so in 2011Woodhead introduced the One Act Festival.

“The One Acts are focused on first-time directors and first-time actors, though experience level varies,” Woodhead said. “Everybody in the community and college is welcome to participate.”

Actors and directors who auditioned this semester had the chance to take part in a wide range of productions. Ten-minute plays were shown including comedies “One Tennis Shoe”, “Salesgirl” and  “Foul Territory” and more serious productions “Creep”, “Game Theory”, “The Individuality of Streetlamps” and “Scheherazade”.

The plays’ set designs were sparse but Woodhead said the emphasis of the One Acts was in the acting and directing.

“For the most part it’s just the black-box stage and the actors and directors focused on their craft,” Woodhead said. “You get to really sink your teeth into this role and go full speed at creating truth on stage.”

CSN acting student Kiha Akui took his first seat in the director’s chair with “Foul Territory”. It gave him a better understanding of theater.

“I really wanted to get a sense of what it’s like on the other side,” Akui said. “There have been a lot of things I’ve learned that’ll help me be an actor in the future and help me deal with my directors.”

“I think it’s really just satisfying and enriching for everyone who’s involved,” Woodhead said. “They all want to come back, and they all want to bring their friends back because it’s such an exceptional experience.”

Photo credit Richard Brusky

Photo credit Richard Brusky


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