Theatre Arts and Dance dazzle audience with talent and ingenuity

Jitzahel Munoz, Reporter

From March 9-12 in the Blackbox Theatre, California Lutheran University students from the Theatre & Dance Department performed in the Capstone 10 Minute Play Festival. The festival, which was called “A Million Ways to Go,” was a total of six different stories that were performed with no intermission and ran for approximately 75 minutes.

“The name, we specifically chose that because they all vary so differently, but it all kind of shows the human experience one way or another,” Joey Grimaldi, director of “Y3K,” said.

“A Million Ways to Go” included original plays written by Cal Lutheran students and students from the Theatre & Dance Department developed, directed and acted in every aspect of the festival.

“I’ve just learned just the amazement of actors’ abilities and how much they can just overgo your expectation, just keep surpassing your expectation every night,” Grimaldi said.

“A Million Ways to Go” began with “Shimmers,” which was written by Lindsay Partain, directed by Jennie White and assisted directed by Abby Cardenas. The science fiction drama featured two characters named Amanda and Ryan who, on the darkest night of the year, explore a forest in search of the location where magic can be found for those willing to see and give it.

The second story of the festival, written by Andrew Biss, directed by Nicole Brettell and assisted directed by Grimaldi, was “A Flawed Character.” The play centered around a writer who creates his first character for his new play but is troubled with writer’s block. As the writer continues to think of new ideas, his character’s patience starts to dwindle and the relationship between them starts to turn hostile quickly, which starts to make the writer question their relationship.

“I learned that you have to be consistent as a director, but just give your actors very small feedback as possible. Don’t go overboard with the details. Give them something simple and helpful,” Brettell said.

“My Boyfriend’s Wife,” written by Barbara Lindsay, directed by Sacaiah Shaw and assisted directed by White, was a drama about a woman who visits her boyfriend’s late wife and speaks to her about the meaning of love and their emotions regarding their situation.

The fourth story of the festival, written by Spencer Voest, adapted by professor Marja Mogk, directed by Cardenas and assisted directed by Savannah Simpson, was “A Mirrored World.” The play focuses on Clark, a college student, who after spending much time and dedication to his research, finds out the truth about mirrors. Once finding out that he and his colleagues are being watched, Clark desperately tries to persuade Senna and Alexander, his coworkers in the lab, of his findings.

The penultimate story, “Choices,” was written by James McLindon, directed by Simpson and assisted directed by Brettell. The play examines the condition of capitalism in society today and the unmanageable debt that graduates are left with.

To finish was “Y3K”, a science fiction psychological drama written by Simpson, directed by Grimaldi and assisted directed by Shaw. “Y3K” features Barbara, a woman who must contend with changing reality and great expectations.

“I want to give away the challenges of the human condition and wanting to have purpose,” Brettell said.

The festival ended in applause from the audience and a message from the actors to professor of Theatre Arts Michael Arndt praising all the work he had done and how much of a help he had been overall.