‘The Missing Piece’ performs sold out shows


Photo by Anna Norwalt - Reporter

Students Stone Sharp and Jennie White perform in Dancing Blind, one of the nine ten-minute plays in The Missing Piece.

Anna Norwalt, Reporter

California Lutheran University students put on The Missing Piece: ten-minute play festival, they performed Mar. 17-20, as part of a capstone project for theatre majors and minors.

The show was a combination of nine ten-minute plays that students in the capstone class agreed upon to showcase. It ranged from plays addressing life to one about the Kool-Aid Man.

There are 12 students currently enrolled in the capstone class, and each of them had a role to play to pull the production together. Clayton Currie, a senior in the class, is part of the Management Team however that isn’t the only role he plays.

“Due to our capstone class being small, a lot of us have to play a lot of roles,” Currie said.

Juan Gonzalez, another senior in the class, is one of the two students in charge of publicity.

Gonzalez was also a director of one of the ten-minute plays called “Red Sugary Sweet Dreams.” He described the play as a friend sharing her dream involving Kool-Aid to her other friend.

“And so, out comes the Kool-Aid Man, and you kind of enter their fantasy world of like Kool-Aid,” Gonzalez said.

Michael Ardnt, the professor teaching the Theatre Arts capstone course, said he acts like a mentor to the students but that all of the work is their own.

“It’s a really good learning experience because most of them have never had to be in charge of something or actually run a professional theater or work in a theater where they’re given responsibilities,” Ardnt said.

The class has been working toward this performance all semester.

“It’s a great class. It is for us, for theatre majors in particular,” Currie said. “I feel like this capstone class is a good challenge because it really is ‘take everything you have learned over the past four years, go make a production’.”

The show was nine unique plays that compliment each other according to Sophia Christenson, a student in the class working as House Manager.

“I think with all of these plays, there’s a character that sort of finds themselves through another character, and they really find that missing piece. So, that’s where we got the title from,” Christenson said.

While talking about the ten-minute play “Dancing Blind” which featured a blind woman as one of the main characters, Christenson shared about a blind and deaf friend she had growing up and how she learned from them.

“But obviously, I’ll never know what it’s like, so I think that I just wanted to do it justice,” Christenson said.

Another piece that was showcased was the first student-written ten-minute musical by Xavier Reynoso. The musical was written as well as directed by Reynoso. It depicted a man who was found innocent and released from prison after serving one year for the murder of his fiancé’s little brother.

“I think I’m just excited for people to see it. We’ve worked really hard since the beginning of the semester to make sure that this is, I don’t know the word for it. That this is going to affect people the way that we want it to,” Christenson said.

This was the first in-person ten-minute play festival the capstone course has been able to perform since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s a good feeling to be like ‘we’re still making it work.’ We’re adapting, we’re finding ways to do it live in person and still be safe about it,” Currie said.

The students, 12 in the capstone course and 20 actors, put on four shows over the weekend, all of which were sold out.

“There’s a lotta joy, a lotta pride in it, in seeing what we’ve done, it’s a little bit bittersweet cause it’s probably the last thing I’m gonna do at Cal Lu,” Currie said.