Sunday, January 30, 2011

HSU theatre student Katie Dawson works on the color-coded festival schedule.

For student participants it is an exciting crowded week of art, learning and competition. Some will unload and set up sets for their school’s production in the Van Duzer Theatre on a tight schedule, observed and evaluated every moment. Actors begin several rounds of auditions to compete for scholarships, or audition for the winning ten minute plays and one act plays that will be presented in Gist Hall Theatre. They stretch and sing for the Musical Theater Showcase in the Native American Forum.

They direct scenes or write reviews. They attend worshops in all aspects of theater—more than 70 are scheduled--from stage swashbuckling to interpreting Shakespeare, creating prop food and “reproductive padding,” to working with LED lighting and fiber rope rigging, or learning how to nail that singing audition and when to join Actors Equity. And they go to the plays and readings to see the best from other schools, or to root for their friends. “It was one of the busiest weeks of my life,” recalls HSU graduate student Calder Johnson of an earlier festival, “and one of the most exciting.”

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